From knots to wellness, a parable for building community

COFFEE WITH WARREN, with Warren Harbeck
Cochrane Eagle, July 19, 2018

A gallery of beauty greets Cochrane Coffee Traders’ guests, and it’s right at their feet. What the first five artistic images above are is pretty obvious, but image 6 is another matter. Photos by Warren Harbeck

Have you ever noticed the beauty right at your feet when you visit with friends and family in the loft at Cochrane Coffee Traders? I have, and the experience has been a source of wellbeing and wisdom for me – and hopefully also for those with whom I will be privileged to dialogue at the upcoming ELEVATE event.

ELEVATE is the much-anticipated community-centred partnership between over 30 local businesses and an outstanding selection of wellness speakers taking place the weekend of Aug. 10–11 here in our friendly foothills town. Ticket-holders will be entitled to attend as many classes, workshops, seminars and activities as their time that Saturday will allow.

The weekend will begin with a Friday evening “TED-Talk” style event at the RancheHouse on the theme, “We Are Cochrane,” featuring such speakers as Dave Johnson (“Are You Ready for Your Opportunity”), Heidi Rousseau (“A Blessing in the Mess”) and Reid Kimmett (“Community Heals”).

The visionary and organizer behind ELEVATE is Marni Richelle.

“It will be Cochrane's first wellness weekend of its kind,” Marni says. “As a young entrepreneur who grew up in Cochrane and has seen the many changes over the years, I am committed to building community connections for a healthy and vibrant Cochrane that ‘elevates’ personal and community wellbeing.”

Marni has given me the honour of being one of the presenters. I am scheduled to speak at 2:00 pm Saturday in the loft at Cochrane Coffee Traders. My topic? “Beauty in Plain Sight.” In that session I hope to share some of the wellness experiences I’ve had right there at that popular café – beautiful experiences that have occurred at the counter, around the tables, and even right at my feet.

Right at my feet? That brings me to the six photos in the collage accompanying this column. The collage as a whole is a parable about the wellbeing of life together in community. A hint at the meaning of the first five images is to be found in my June 2, 2016 column about image 1.

But what do you suppose image 6 is all about? And how does it relate to the weekend theme? I hope to see you at my Aug. 11 session so we can think about it together.

To view all the offerings for ELEVATE and to obtain tickets, go to


© 2018 Warren Harbeck

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