The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit. – Nelson Henderson
This is why we tell stories. To remember. To preserve a moment in time that is sacred. To plant trees for future generations so that they have the tools and skills they will need to survive and thrive under the tribulations that they will inevitably face. To pass on our experience, knowledge gained through the mistakes we have made, and our successes in hope that our children and our children’s children will know this land and its animals.
I sat down to write this after the heat dome devastated British Columbia. As I wrote, 251 wildfires burned through the province. I promised myself that I would remember this when the fall rains come, when I am bundled in wool blankets, and the winter snows cover the earth.
Pressure creates diamonds. Under the current social, economic, and environmental stress that we have endured, we have also witnessed a rise in creative solutions, ingenuity, and compassion in our community and across the globe.
With every issue, the Strathcona Collective highlights local art, culture, innovation, and recreation. The stories that f lood these pages capture the land and its inhabitants—human and non-human beings alike—during a time where we have been challenged on all fronts.
In this issue you’ll read about people innovating in the fields of outdoor recreation, digital production, and community food systems. You’ll hear from teachers, guides, mothers, adventurers, foragers, and crafters. You’ll be introduced to the local fauna, from the salmon and bears of the Campbell River to the Shartle of Mount Cain.
Our contributors have created an inspiring and uplifting issue out of the heavy and serious conditions we have all faced to some degree. Reading this issue, my wish is that you find connection, compassion, and solutions for your own story, and the inspiration to plant your own trees.