Dawn, joy and hope

COFFEE WITH WARREN, with Warren Harbeck
Cochrane Eagle, October 26, 2023

Radiant sun spectacularizes Cochrane’s Riverfront Park on a hoarfrosty autumn morning in 2016. Photo by Dawn Piche

When my wife and I visited Anything Grows Garden Center in Cochrane last Saturday, Mary Anna was looking for supplies to prepare our home garden for winter, in anticipation of another spring of blossoms and beauty. What we found was a reminder of the joy of beauty in an ugly world.

Longtime Anything Grows staff member Dawn Piche, an artist in her own right, is also one of our loyal coffee companions. Concerned for the wellbeing of an increasingly broken world, she came to me with the suggestion that my column revisit the theme of restoring social healing and hope through celebrating the beauty of this wonderful world in which we are so privileged to live.

Little did either of us realize at that moment that, later that very same afternoon, damaged Cochrane sewer and water pipes in Riverfront Park would interfere bigtime with our town’s water supply and river water safety. And that very location would lead to Dawn’s own answer to her concern – in an inspiring photo she’d taken seven years earlier almost to the day.

“I noticed mist rising off the Bow River and could not resist taking a closer look,” she told me back then. It was at Riverfront Park east of the Highway 22 bridge. “There’s a small body of ice-covered water that just happened to capture a wondrous moment in time.”

The sun was just above the horizon, posing perfectly for a photo (with help of lens flare) amidst the glittering fairyland setting. Hoarfrost was clinging to the brush etched in shadows.

“It was a sensory overload that took my breath away and warmed my soul with a renewed knowingness of my connection with the universe. All I can say is YES! And Thank You for this life and where we live.”

And thank you, Dawn, for this memory.


© 2023 Warren Harbeck

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