Phoenix Riting! – November 25th, 2021

Phoenix Bee


Did anyone see the eclipse? What a gift were clear skies! Earth’s fat shadow stole Moon’s light, show a field of stars, sparkle in velvet night. Breathtaking! It was a partial eclipse. A thin crescent of light showed at peak, while the shadowed part glowed a deep red. A Blood Moon. The eclipse began a bit after 10pm and reached totality at around 1am. If you missed it, there are videos all over the internet.


Speaking of internet, those poor people all over southern BC last week! Harrowing images and stories all over the webs. These folks have experienced unprecedented heat, fire and flood emergencies in a few months. Here we got wet, but no power outage or damage. Many less prepared urban areas suffered through outages. Stranded motorists, cars in some cases washed kilometres off road by mud and flood, were hoisted by helicopter and hosted in Hope. Sumas Prairie (once a shallow lake amidst extensive wetlands, habitat for myriad species, and territory of Sumas First Nation) turns overnight back to Sumas Lake, once drained for ‘land reclamation’. The Coquihalla Highway doesn’t exist right now.


This event highlights how fragile is the infrastructure that binds our society, how brittle the links of the supply chain. Given the realities of climate change, it only gets worse from here. Again, we’re better off than most, for we have gardens and farms, and here on Hornby, the Farmland Trust. I am sure Denman has equivalent projects in place. We are on track to grow and develop a farming culture, to be more self sufficient. There are things we can do, small and tall.


I am double plus pleased with my purchase of an e-bike last summer. I did it for the fun, that’s obvious. Ebikes make riding just enough easier to make fun outweigh difficult (the Cove hill, omg!), and accessible to those with less reliable energy.


With my plug-in steed, hills are only as difficult as I choose them to be. I like the exercise, so I keep assist levels as low as I can. I get the right workout for my body, and I ride outdoors in all seasons. Now, driving feels a bit eerie and unreal, like sitting in a room, watching a movie, then leaving the room to find yourself in the place shown on the screen. On my bike, I ride to the garden, to my radio show with my radio show stuff, grocery shopping to both the Co-op and the Cove (zooming down the Cove Hill!), in the rain (I have a raincoat!), with goggles (my eyes water!). E-bikes are a game changer when it comes to feeling alive and embedded in the world around you. If you also ride an e-bike, repeat after me: Wheeee!!


On another note, accuracy matters. I am happy to receive correction so I may rectify errors. I don’t promise perfection, I do my best. So thanks very much for the feedback, dear keen-eyed readers!


Corrections from last week: I reported that the Hornby Housing Network had been created at the last HIRRA meeting. This is not the case. The Housing Network already existed. The community conversation was an opportunity for the Network to introduce themselves and invite input. Updates shared by various groups were not reports but information sharing, invitations to ask questions or volunteer. We are moving toward another community visioning session, which we badly need. Yes. Let’s get together again.


Clarification from two weeks ago regarding my representation of opposing points of view about vaccines: you are right, it is not fair to paint the two viewpoints as so extreme, because most people don’t view things in those terms. I was exaggerating to illustrate the point. In real life, people are complex and issues are nuanced. Most people land closer in their opinions to the middle than to either extreme. Extremists are only a tiny minority, but they shout.


Thank you for the feedback! I always want to hear from you, with feedback, opinions or suggestions for future columns. Email me at