“A dog is love’s purest shadow.” 
-Angie Weiland-Crosby

Growing up, I always had a dog. Always black with a bit of white. Always a border collie cross of some kind. When I left home to study,  I promised myself I would get another dog when I was ready. Fast forward to 29 year-old-Sadie living in Nova Scotia, now married. I was ready. 

Recently I spent an ideal day at the IDEAL Ranch where my son and his classmates learned about all things farming, growing, and poetry writing! I was so pleased to learn that one of the many engaging activities there was a creative romp through the linguistic. As my son’s class separated into four separate groups, they were encouraged to try writing a “panto” style poem. Poems were created using dramatic movements, repetition, and colourful voice affects. I was overjoyed to find the children engaging in a deep way with their environment and words. 

As a recent judge of The Fernie Academy Poetry Slam 2023, I was called to judge these brave and vulnerable kids once again. Children who bear their souls through Poe and Plath, who rhyme their own words with passion and poise as I sit there, mouth agape wondering how on earth I am the one to judge them. Luckily, there are others there with me, basking in the words of yore and now. Judging. Out of all of the original work that evening, one particular poem moved me a great deal. It scored the highest in its category of original work and it is my pleasure to publish it here.

In a small town like Fernie, our dedicated community spaces are sacred places in nature where we all get to play. Often these spaces are maintained by the City and/or by the efforts of the many dedicated volunteers. One of my favourite places to hit is the Fernie Rail Yard Dog Park. Its gorgeous off leash areas and paved walking trails are stunning.

As an actor, a soliloquy is that inescapable moment you have playing a character where their true feelings are exposed. It’s a vulnerable opportunity to let the audience into the internal world you create within the drama of the play. This month, I thought I’d dive deep into the world of drama and present a soliloquy for Fernie.

Many of us Canadians can speak a bit of French. If a person wanted, you could simply read the label of almost anything produced or imported in Canada to get a lesson. When I was younger and headed to school, a newly minted French Immersion program meant I would learn this romantic and seemingly available language. I value this experience and having the ability to write, read, and converse in this language is a privilege. My best pals learned alongside me in a neighbourhood of moms, leaning into a culture they knew little about but were keen to enrich their children with. 

I met Ghaith Sabri while he was working on an organic farm in Selma, Nova Scotia, Canada. I was struck by his intriguing accent, his wild black curly hair, and his general enthusiasm for all things alive or dead. He sees the world through a cornucopia of lenses, and I wanted to be part of how he saw the world, even if it was just for a moment. He taught me about Palestine, his birthplace. He taught me about the true value of kindness. He taught me that luck is relative and that if you really engage with life, it will make you wealthy beyond measure.

Christmas time was a special time for my brother and I. Jake was younger, endlessly curious, and always ready for action. He hung on every word I spoke and loved everything I loved for a time.

As the fall burns up the living things and winter comes upon us, my mind wanders to those new mothers out there and the delicious anticipation of a baby. I am so fortunate to have two babies of my own and as they approach double digits, I am reminded of the slow moments of connection between the old and the new. The coming together of a family welcoming their newest member. The sleepless nights that bring on the delirious delicious love that babies bring.