By Lisa Bland, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief –
Well folks, we’ve finally made it to issue #50 of TheGreenGazette. If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that each step was made possible through the support of the amazing people and businesses of the Cariboo Region, and many others from BC and beyond contributing to a monumental collective effort.
Fifty is an epic number—it’s a halfway marker, half of a hundred, half a century, and a turning point. It is a lot of something, and it is significant. Coincidentally, it also happens that I’ll be turning 50 this December. As I reflect on what turning 50 means to me, I’m also reflecting on what it means for this labour of love with TheGreenGazette.
Like a river, our lives are an endless stream of events and seasons that flow from birth to death. Our stories pull meaning from the constant flow of events, shaping the intangible into form. We build our lives through stories about where we’ve come from and where we’re going, and all of our stories are worth telling. They are sacred. Every story has a beginning, a middle, and an end, and there’s something affirming about starting and finishing a story well.
Over the past six and a half years of producing TheGreenGazette, I have changed and grown and experienced losses of family members and loved ones. I have cultivated meaningful relationships with many people and been privileged to experience a glimpse of passing moments into their world. I’ve been surprised at the way topics arise just at the right time. At times, I’ve landed out of my depth or with too many things on my plate. I’ve learned many things about teamwork, working with volunteers, being accountable, managing stress, and ‘feeling the fear, but doing it anyway’. I’ve learned about the sacrifice and commitment to a small business, and that it takes effort to build things that last. I’ve also learned that people work very hard at what they care about, and sometimes you can convince them to write stories about those things.
Green living is no longer a marginalized label of the past, but about our collective survival, adaptation, and maturity. As more experiences and areas on our planet are commodified, it’s harder to remember that many essential and beautiful things in life are simply given to us by the natural world for free. As we hurtle towards the unknown, a code red signal flashing in the background about our carbon footprint, climate change, the loss of our beloved wild companions, or the ailing health of our ecosystems and bodies due to pollution in our food and environment, it’s hard not become overwhelmed, resigned, and apathetic. The stories people tell about their efforts to live healthy and meaningful lives is sometimes the bridge to making the effort ourselves.
Many years ago, I attended a public talk and book signing for The Sacred Balance with David Suzuki. As I stood in front of him, I was overcome by my despair for the planet, and he spoke directly to me and said, “Gather with others of like mind working together on behalf of our world.” He knew that his fight was my fight and that working together to advocate for a better world can help ease feelings of fear, immobilization, and isolation.
The stories and articles we publish in TheGreenGazette might not be investigative journalism, but they represent the hearts of the people who create the fabric of our communities. These stories are about and by real people who live their stories in context with the land and one another. People telling stories about their own lives and experience are the ones we can trust, and they uplift and bring solutions, helping to dissolve polarization and conflict.
At the start of November, on the eve of our 50th issue, news came of the passing of Terri Smith’s beloved goat, Amadeus, featured in every issue since he was a baby. Stories of his life, struggles, and victories tugged at our hearts and showed us that life is a journey capable of wonderful transformation. We send our love and empathy to Terri and know Amadeus’ memory will live on in her stories.
As we turn the corner into the darkness of the winter season, TheGreenGazette has also come to a time of transformation, which involves a story about endings and new beginnings.
As of this issue, we are finished with our newsprint edition and launching into a vibrant new format in February 2019. By combining forces with the talented Jennifer Reed, owner of Spiral Health and Discover Wellness magazine in Quesnel, we are expanding to a full-colour Green Gazette magazine on 100% recycled paper.
We have been busy behind the scenes creating a new, upgraded design, and along with carrying much of the same content and continuing to operate our website and social media, we’ll also have a few new surprises and ways for the community to get involved, including a professional directory.
It has always been my vision to unite communities across the Cariboo through the topics we care about – healthy living and lifestyles, the environment, sustainable agriculture and ranching, green technology and business – so it makes sense to combine efforts as we move into the next chapter.
A community collective filled with vibrant stories about making a difference and connecting to one another and our Earth is the kind of world I want to live in. I have joked with friends that this all-consuming labour of love is like giving birth each issue to a new creative work, interwoven with the threads of community. Even after all this time, and despite the struggle, it’s still the world I want to believe in and help create.
Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this journey so far. Wishing you a wonderful holiday season and see you in 2019!
Lisa holds certificates in Professional Publication Writing and Magazine Publishing and has lived in the Cariboo Region on and off for the past 20 years. She attempts to juggle her passion for writing, photography, and activism with time spent outside exploring wild places. Nature is by far her favourite and most inspiring teacher.