“I write from an ocean famous for vineyards, beaches and deserts. It is no desert. The bed of my ocean is covered with algae. Clumps of old-growth bluebunch wheatgrass reach out their dead stalks from it like ribs of umbrellas to collect rain and molten snow before it evaporates into the wind. They are sea anemones in a tide pool of shallow, light-soaked waves,” Harold Rhenisch, The Neon Bees of the Sun.
It’s a vast volume of stories, memories, and personal essays on nature that brings together the work of 24 B.C. writers, including Vernon’s Harold Rhenisch, and original, black and white nature-themed illustrations. Mother Tongue Publishing’s The Summer Book launches at the Vernon Public Library July 13 at 7 p.m.
“It feels really nice, because (it’s) part of a project I’ve been working on for a number of years,” Rhenisch says. “To have it in such a beautiful book is pretty great.”
Rhenisch’s contribution to The Summer Book, entitled The Neon Bees of the Sun, discusses the beauty of the Okanagan valley.
“My natural environment seems to be the dry land,” Rhenisch says. “This is the story of what I found out there.”
For Rhenisch, it was an honour to work alongside Mona Fertig of Mother Tongue Publishing and the 23 other authors who contributed to the work.
“We’ve all come together with these stories about summer. There’s this thing we can share and we’ve never had the chance to talk about it before,” Rhenisch says. “The book represents an ongoing conversation from people who care deeply about this place.”
Joining Rhenisch at the July 13 book launch in Vernon are fellow authors of The Summer Book, Trevor Carolan and Sarah de Leeuw.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” Rhenisch says. “It’s always fun to get together with people and share stories — I’m hoping that the people who come will also share their stories.”