If I could write a sonnet I would compose a verse for the month of September. Especially this year, as our lovely summer weather has been extended. Perhaps every fall is like this but this one seems exceptional.
I love the peacefulness that surrounds this time whether that is on the lake, where this week I have been swimming, or on a hike in the woods, or even the highways seem less busy. Summer is a gorgeous time as well, however I appreciate the warmth of the sun not so blazing, and the cooler nights. As I gaze out at the water I appreciate I have a great deal to be grateful for.
We were chatting, Jay and I, about how wise we are to live in the Okanagan, and she believes it is as good as it gets and can compete on a global level with natural beauty and adventure. We are not a city so let’s not compare Vancouver to Vernon, Toronto or New York, for restaurants, entertainment and cultural activities, but what we have is pretty impressive.
A walk through one of our area farmers’ markets allows us to appreciate the great harvests and wonderful agricultural area we live in, appreciating the good earth and the bountiful harvest. Whether it is kale, apples, vegetables of all shapes and sizes, fruit or wine, or peach liqueurs this area offers a rich 100-mile diet.
As far as activities, we have it all with our ski hills, numerous hiking trails, lakes for swimming and paddling, or exploring with your boat, fishing, or just staring out into the lake lends itself to a calming meditative state. What I like about this area is that a great deal of what I want to do to enjoy this area doesn’t cost me anything other than the clothing or gear needed. Like a pair of runners or hiking shoes to entertain myself on kilometres of hiking trails, a bathing suit to swim in the lakes or rivers. In the winter I need snowshoes and there are plenty of trails to go on that are free and when I do pay it is not that much. Skiing, and cross country skiing cost more, a boat needs gas and insurance and maintenance, a kayak less so.
I can justify my purchases easily. My kayak at the time cost $600 and I have had it so far for 10 years. So 60 a year, then it is used about 60 times at least by myself or others, so that is $1 a paddle. It will probably last 20 years, so then I am down to 50 cents a paddle. Well worth the money for the peaceful enjoyment I receive by visiting the eagles across the bay, or the strength I am building in my arms and shoulders. Priceless.
This September has been a great month for me so far as I launch again on some new adventures. I also went to Vancouver to see the Eagles and it was a fantastic show as their music was a melody for my life, remembering where I was when I first heard a certain song. I played the Eagles a great deal through my journey, they were a mainstay on a back pack trip through Europe, my time in Fort McMurray, again in Los Angeles where Glenn Frey hung out at my favourite pub, and my company when I was living here. I loved to play them while I gardened on Sunnyview.
May you too enjoy the warmth of the sun on your shoulders, the smell of the earth preparing for winter or a tomato freshly picked from a garden, the sounds of the birds in the woods, the peaceful sight of the natural beauty surrounding us, and the taste of a Davison Orchards apple pie.
Michele Blais is a longtime columnist for The Morning Star who writes on a variety of topics, appearing every other Sunday. She has worked with families and children in the Vernon area for the past 27 years.