Snow-clad Alberta Rockies harmonize with BC cherry blossoms

COFFEE WITH WARREN, with Warren Harbeck
Cochrane Eagle, May 4, 2017

Snow-covered mountain grandeur near Morley shares awe with cherry-blossom splendour on Trinity Western University campus near Langley, BC.
Photos by Warren Harbeck

Last week Mary Anna and I travelled by car from Cochrane to BC’s lower Fraser Valley and experienced anew western Canada’s early-spring climatic symphony, harmonious in its awe-inspiring diversity. But more about that in a moment. First, two responses to last week’s column on the 3Rs for a world out of tune.

Duncan, BC, reader Leanne Forest responded with an account of how a member of a book-study group Leanne attends at a church other than her own, alluded offhandedly to the “evil [name of a denomination] spirit.” The attack was against Leanne’s own denomination. How was she to react?

She was tempted to add to the discord, but instead went home and practiced the 3Rs (Recognize, Reflect, Repent). “I felt a move away from personal offense,” she said. At the next meeting of the study group, during their prayer time, Leanne asked “for prayer for unity among all of the Christian churches. Together we stand, divided we fall.”

Then there’s this response from Cochrane-based First Nations entertainer, Wendy Walker, about restoring harmony amidst life’s cacophony of being a stranger in a strange place.

Wendy was out walking her dog when “a very upset White lady” approached and spoke to her. The woman had arrived in the middle of the night from Ontario to visit her very ill son. But not having been here before, she was lost and needed directions to a store where she could get eggs and bacon to make her son breakfast.

“I can take you there and then drop you off at your son’s place,” Wendy said. “She looked at me and said, ‘You'd do that for a stranger?’ I said, ‘Yes, I would.’

“When all was said and done, she thanked me,” Wendy said, telling the woman, no longer a stranger, that she was happy to help, and that the woman’s smile was payment enough.

This was a bridge-building moment, Wendy said. It was one of the woman’s “first interactions with a Native person.” Ah yes, harmony triumphed over the cacophony of otherness and confusion, because someone cared.

So, what about evidence of western Canada’s harmonious early-spring symphony of climatic diversity? Well, Mary Anna and I made the 12-hour trip from Cochrane to Langley, BC, by way of the Trans-Canada Highway. Near the Morley turnoff the early morning sun broke through the overhead clouds to illuminate our Canadian Rockies, freshly attired in snow. Awesome!

But toward the end of our journey we had passed from early spring snow to early spring growth – lush green growth with vibrant pink cherry blossoms. It was awesome! We just had to stop for a few photos on Trinity Western University’s picture-perfect campus, only ten minutes from our destination.

Oh, the reason for our trip? We were attending the baptism of our three-week-old first great-grandson. He’s pretty awesome, too!

© 2017 Warren Harbeck

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