Seeing the Best

Patrick Whittington was born 4,712.6 kms away from Fernie, BC in Labrador City, Newfoundland just over 10 years ago. When I first met Patrick in his home, his mother Leighann and I were rehearsing with our local singing group, The Audielles. His curiosity is most certainly childlike but he’s already harnessed a maturity and wisdom that is completely switched on. He is at his best when he is biking up mountains, playing pond hockey, socializing with friends, or picking a random line from a song and belting it out. When we chat about the social challenges Covid has presented, we lament that we both are missing people. What we don’t miss is epic scenery, a passion for outdoor pursuits, and a community with strength and heart to spare.

When we consider where the best place on earth to live might be, it’s a no brainer, it’s FERNIE!

Together, Patrick and I polled over 100 people and asked them what they thought was the best thing about Fernie and then we put it on the page. No matter what 2021 brings, when it comes to having the best of the best, Fernie is hard to beat.

When I open my eyes,
I see trees and mountains assembled,
gushing rivers,
creeks wrapping gently,
holding the landscape.

In Winter,
there are whopping snow banks, and sled hills, screaming with adventure!
Center plow days and toonie sized snowflakes 
raise the stoke level high.

Summer delivers an abundance of plants and animals, kids whizzing by on bikes,
some hanging from ancient branches,
each one smiling in the mountain light refraction.
I smell sappy smells as I construct forests forts, letting the wildflowers lead me to safety.
We hide under the tree’s canopy to stay dry.

Squishy,
slushy,
sumptuous snow.

I am inspired here,
I am quiet,
listening to the calling birds,
the hushed wind beckoning me here.

I taste bagels from Big Bang,
mussels from the Brickhouse.
We wait and devour the setting sun,
orange neon on the patio at the Bridge Bistro.

When I breathe in Fernie, the air is fresh and enormous. I climb to the peak and reach out my arms.
I am my best in the best place I can imagine.