Apr 13, 2011

King of the Valley

Hey Mom, I'm in the paper today, lookin' kinda cute holding some baby trees (now planted) and giving witty off-the-cuff answers to the newspaper's questions. Of course later, you always think of the answers you should have given.

Like, words to live by: This too shall pass. That got me through long hours waiting for a hitch-hiking ride, nights in Guatemalan bed-bug hostels, many mid-terms and a few girlfriends. It equally applies to the high times, the top-of-the-world moments that are too good to last and can only be fully lived if they're not suffocated by trying to hold onto them. Good or bad, high or low, we take it all in stride because there's more to come.

If you get a chance, go see: anything live in the Cowichan Valley. We are so blessed with talent and enthusiasm (and sometimes both), we really can't miss when we go out. Which I too rarely do, so contented are we with this farm and family and life. But even just knowing it's out there enriches my life. Much more and more deeply than the pirated movies that just entertain and fill time.

Most people don't know I
: love farming at sunrise and sunset. Got that answer right, though it doesn't have to be a big secret. We're just now moving into the season where I can wake up as soon as it's light, sneak out on my sleeping family, and spend an hour or two communing with the rising sun, the settling dew, the slowly opening flowers and waking birds. Feel the world warm up and wake up and shake itself to life. Then head inside to cook breakfast and be a full-on Dad with the beauty of the world shining through me. Then again at night, we put the kids to bed then have the best married-time together weeding and sampling and watering side by side.

If I was appointed king of the valley I would:
make local sourcing and community impact be a mandatory part of government purchasing. Turns out it is legal, even under NAFTA and whatever else Harper is trying to shove down our throats. Worded properly, our local government still miraculously has the right to award contracts and funding in ways that maximizes community benefit. Hiring local businesses and non-profits to serve the community keeps the resources right here, vested in people who care. Globalization and free trade may open up the world, but it closes down relationships and commitment to place, and we don't have to live that way.

Given that the photo and interview were at the end of an exciting but tiring Seedy Saturday on a busy sidewalk, I guess I did OK. What seems like a trite exercise in giving one-sentence quips to rather generic questions can turn out to share a lot about what matters to us. Community, farming, family, consulting, writing all bubbled to the top. That's me - valley people.


  1. you are way too awesome Rick! hope all is well in the valley, definitely hope to live there someday soon-- if I can finish up this school and residency business! :) speaking of live music any chance you'll be at the folk fest at providence in july-- I'm hoping to be working at lady minto hospital on saltspring for the last two week of july and would love to catch some music

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