Slocan Lake - Nicole Coenen
Last spring, I moved to a small town in British Columbia, located in the Slocan Valley. I didn't know anyone in the area and at first I had my regrets about moving to such a remote place. But the breathtaking landscapes always eased my worries and I found myself constantly pulled towards the lake. My dog and I spent a lot of my time exploring the water's edge and as the seasons got warmer it became my favourite swim spot. Before moving to this area, I hadn't felt such a connection with the water. I used to play by the Thames River as a kid in London, Ontario but the area I had access to would often smell like sewage and I'd usually find unsafe garbage by the water, which contaminated my relationship with wild waters.
Through connecting with the Slocan Lake, I began to realize the importance of that connection. Whenever I had the chance, I would head down to the lake to explore, swim, or find some quiet time. I saved up some money to buy a little kayak and would spend evenings paddling up and down the shoreline.
Having a connection with the lake helped me gain a sense of home and comfort in this new town. It was also where I began to connect with the community. In the summer, the beach area turned into a gathering place for locals and people passing through the area. There was always something happening; kids learning to swim, kayakers embarking on their journey, dogs making friends with everyone, people recruiting players for a game of volleyball and bonfires in the evening.
The lake was truly the heart of the community and a place of connection.