You might think it a little bit late, but here on the in Howe Sound where I live, New Year traditionally begins. In the local language, Sk?wx?wu?7mesh sni?chim, this time of year is known as “tem welhxs” which refers to the time of the last snows and the frogs starting to sing.
Ten days ago here on Bowen Island, we had a massive snow and windstorm, but at lower levels, all that snow has melted, flooding the creeks and wetlands and making the forest bright green in today’s after-rain sunshine. It’s warm – 9 degrees celsius – and it does have the feeling of spring. Walking home today I heard a frog singing in the meadow, signalling the earth beginning to wake up again from the dark and colder weeks that we have just come through. We don’t have harsh or long winters here: more an extended time of rest and rejuvenation for the forests and streams. It gest dark and cloudy with hard rain and strong winds between November and January.
So happy new year to my Squamish friends and colleagues and tomorrow it will be Lunar New Year as well, so gong hei fat choy and saehae bok mani badeuseyo to my Chinese and Korean friends and colleagues too.