My childhood was spent in the wilds of the Sayward Valley where in the spring one could lay beneath a salmon berry bush and experience the sun shine through transparent orange berries. On the clay banks of Springer Creek we covered ourselves with green clay then jumped naked into the creek to rub ourselves clean going numb with the cold.
We had 100 acres to get lost in and sometimes when the ferns were taller than me I would be fearful that I wouldn’t be able to find home. Dad would say “just look up and walk towards the mountain, you will find home.” We swam and floated on the Salmon River from May till October. Dad or Grandpa took us out fishing in the ocean nearly every week, where we would stop at a beach, dig clams or pick oysters and build a fire with driftwood and explore rocks and tidal pools. Our garden was big and from my earliest days weeding, digging, and harvesting was a spring, summer, fall routine. We lived from the land and it nourished us.
From age 16-50 I lived in urban environments growing small gardens wherever I lived and searching out natural experiences away from home. I spent time in the Rocky Mountains, in the prairies and in the Okanagan soaking up and maintaining a connection to the earth. I surrounded myself with beautiful natural things, ate organic and supported businesses and people who honoured being on this earth. In 2011 we moved to the Okanagan and once again I could lay underneath berry bushes, swim in lakes and rivers and walk in the Ponderosa Pine forests that I love.
This week I sat on a bench on the shore of the Okanagan and marvelled at a the beauty of the land I have come home to. The Saskatoon bushes bloom effervescent across the lake, Okanagan Sunflowers shine bright this spring nourished by the fire ash from last summer, 3 eagles dip and dive above me and loons chase the Salmon fry. Magpies, Crows, Doves, Quail, Chickadees and Mallards live with us here. Dennis our local black bear wanders by occasionally and in the evening Coyotes sing up, down and across the lake.
This connection to nature is essential to me and this week a yarn arrived from Japan that represents much of what I cherish. A special edition yarn grown New Zealand, Spun in Japan and shared with the world called Haunui “a place of the winds”.“According to Noro, “ Natural fibres have great features that humans can not mimic. I want to leave these features as much as possible in my yarns. These natural states are intentionally left by using human hands and old machinery so that natural fibres are not over processed. All of this is so knitters can feel nature more closely when knitting with Noro yarns.”
I am thrilled we have received this yarn so that we can share another way to connect with nature. I imagine slipping on a sweater made with Haunui and walking to my garden on a cool spring morning listening to the world come alive with the first rays of morning sun.
Here’s to being connected.