Editorial: Last gasp of a dying summer

Trent Ernst, Editor


I know, I know, another weather story. Well, more of a metaphor, really. But, with the exception of those few days of snow the weekend before last, one of the nicest summers on record has turned into a very nice autumn, too.

It’s a little too early to call it one of the nicest autumns we’ve ever seen, especially after last year’s fall, which tried as hard as it could to make up for a wet, cold summer.

With the nice weather hanging around this late into the year, I’ve been trying desperately to get out and do those things that I never managed in the summer. This was, if you recall, going to be the year that Zoe and I hiked into Mount Robson, but, well, we just got so busy camping and doing other things like that, we didn’t spend as much time as I was hoping hiking.

So last week, I went out with Brandon to Triple Jump Falls (story soon), and on Saturday, Zoe and I went down to Quality Canyon.

I love hiking with my daughter. I’d say daughters, but Bree, the youngest, isn’t big on hiking. Yet. I hope I can start to convince her to join us, but for now, it’s Zoe and I out on the trail.

As we walked, we talked about everything and nothing. We stopped to watch a squirrel work its way into a pine cone. We watched gray jays flit from branch to branch. We heard the knock-knock-knocking of a woodpecker in the distance, then Zoe spotted it as it made its way up the trees.

We took the roped route down into the canyon, which was the first time she has ever  had to use a rope like that. She flailed a little and fell once, but insisted that we take the same route out on our return.

As we worked our way up to the falls at the head of the canyon, the tight walls began to press in. The walls of the canyon overhang much of the last portion of the trail;. It’s impressive and ominous, as you can see the fractures in the soft sedimentary stone above your head.

At this time of year, the water is the lowest it will ever be, which is a good thing. It’s not a place that I’d like to be when the creek is in full flood.

We watched the water fall for a few minutes, then turned around and worked our way back downstream to the rope, and then out and up, and back to the car.

And as we walk, sometimes talking, sometimes in companionable silence, I can’t help but think that these are the moments that make memories. Yes, the big, flashy events are important and will last, too, but looking back on life, it’s often the simple things like going for a walk with my baby girl that stick first and foremost in my mind.

Autumn is a time of change, a moving of one season to another. It’s chaotic, but in that chaos is beauty, too.

Right now, Tumbler Ridge is once again in a season of change. It’s chaotic and for many people, things are going to be tough and tight and the future is unknown.

But don’t forget to look for the beauty in change. Yes, it can be hard to see it. One of my favourite songwriters, Terry Taylor, puts it like this: “I still got this dust flowing through my veins/I wanna have faith, and I wanna know grace/But it’s hard to break through when the rent’s overdue.

And that’s where a lot of people are at. It’s a place where I’ve been at more times than I care to count. But if we keep our eyes open, and see past our problems—not ignoring them, but only seeing them in context of the bigger picture—maybe we will see the beauty in chaos, if only for a moment, and grasp onto hope. Because while the falling leaf speaks to the oncoming winter, it also holds within it the promise of spring.