Last weekend I had the opportunity to join two friends and their families in celebration of their wedding at the beautiful Evans Lake near Squamish, BC. It was not your average wedding in the city: it was a three-day event, marked by wonderful people, a beautiful place and an incredible ceremony. The trip was a reminder of the rugged, natural beauty of British Columbia. Our camp at Evans Lake was situated in Paradise Valley and surrounded by a vibrant forest.
I arrived and found the families and friends roaming around near the calm lake, entertaining themselves with music and food. There were canoes and paddle boards available but I decided to sit by the water with a journal: I sat for hours writing amongst the trees and birds. On the second day, I found myself running around, swept up in the excitement of the upcoming ceremony. It took place at a beautiful forest amphitheater tucked in a natural clearing in the woods.
I felt honoured to contribute to the ceremony through Uproot's creation of handmade salvaged wood candle holders for the reception dinner centerpieces. Before the wedding, the Uproot team gathered material from John Hendry Park in Vancouver. The cuttings are a result of regular maintenance and pruning to the trees around the city but often these pieces of fallen wood go to waste. We gathered, cut and transformed these branches into beautiful pieces of artwork for the centrepieces at the dinner tables. I felt touched to contribute in a small way to the beautiful celebration.
It is easy to forget about the natural beauty that exists around us in British Columbia when living in the city, even one as dynamic as Vancouver. Evans Lake reminded me of what is worth protecting; it rejuvenated me in my love of the outdoors and my ability to play a small role in defending it. It reminded me to continue connecting, engaging and communicating with people so we can find ways to respect each other and our natural landscape. Next time you have an opportunity to stand for a moment, in the wonderful place that surrounds us, stop and think about how you can play your part in protecting it. As I considered the new family tree that had grown over the weekend, I thought it is also worth protecting, one branch at a time.