Welcome to our Spring 2022 issue! Pick up a copy of the magazine, read our cover story with musician Dan Bejar, and sign up to our newsletter for weekly stories.
As I write this letter, the signs that spring is coming are already here. By the time you are reading it, the buds I spy on the magnolia and lilac trees will be getting ready to burst forth. It’s impossible to not feel optimistic in spring. Even as we are more and more used to living for today and putting less faith in the future, we, like the nature that surrounds us, can’t help but get ready to bloom.
And how fresh, beautiful, and glorious that blossoming will be. I’m reminded of a song we sang at school in England, “Morning Has Broken.” It was a hymn from the 1930s that became popular after Cat Stevens (now Yusuf Islam) recorded it in the ’70s. It’s been years since I heard them, and decades since they passed my lips, but the lyrics have been ringing around my head as I look forward to the next few months.
Morning has broken like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird
There is something in them that speaks of rebirth, and surely that is what we are waiting to experience. Life not returned to what it was, but renewed, refreshed—reborn. A new dawn that will lift the fear and the gloom, and allow us to be filled with anticipation, promise, and joy.
The notion of rebirth permeates the pages of this issue. It’s interesting how the connections between stories don’t become apparent until they are all edited and laid out, ready to hit the presses. This time was no different, but as I look through the pages, it’s clear renewal—in many different forms—was on all our minds.
Most literally, it’s the subject of one of our features. Regenerative farming offers hope in abundance, as it breathes new life into our most precious commodity—the earth beneath our feet—and offers solutions to some of our most urgent issues.
But thematically, it’s also present. In the way the vibrant colours of the Caribbean island of Curaçao infiltrate our senses and mood. Or in the way the fig trees of Vancouver add up to so much more than a basket of fruit; barren in winter, fruitful in summer, they have become part of the fabric of our community, giving us strength in their tenacity and growth.
Personal growth is a preoccupation for many of us, and something that can too often be derailed by unrealistic external expectations. How do we come to know ourselves when the image we give to the world is the result of technology? We look at the growing calls to push back against these insidious trends and reframe beauty beyond filters.
Giving back is one direct way we can effect change and support renewal. Like her parents who founded the environmental nonprofit Sitka Foundation, CEO Carolyn Beaty is passionate about projects that keep British Columbia sustainable and as beautiful as it ever was.
Staying creative in the face of silence and stasis has been a struggle for most, none more so than the artists among us. Inspiration is in short supply in a world reeling and separated and closed down. And when one is forced to dig deep and produce a work of art—a painting, a novel, a piece of music—how does it fit into this strange new world?
Our cover star, musician Dan Bejar, talks about finding a voice in isolation, creating an album completely remotely with his band Destroyer. The music and lyrics are chaotic and raw—more edgy than his previous work. If it would be a stretch to call it a rebirth, at the very least it reflects that rising desire to stop making sense and just burst forth into the messiness of real life.
I think we are ready.