Updated: Jan 15, 2020
I visited the Okanagan for the first time during the summer 2007. I was a 20 years old student in Education, dreaming of exploring the world with my backpack. For most youngsters in Quebec, picking cherries in British Columbia is the first step away from home, the very first great adventure on our own. And for good reasons... The landscapes are absolutely breathtaking, the options for adventures are endless, the weather is perfect, the fresh fruits are like nothing we've ever tasted before, and the communities are so vibrant!
I immediately felt home here, a sense of peace and love and belonging that I felt only in the woods before. I knew that I was meant to move here, sooner or later. I came back and forth in between my studies in Trois-Rivières and other adventures. I completed my bachelor degree in 2011, got my dream job, and was preparing a master degree about the Zen philosophy in Mary Poppins novels.
During the spring 2012, I had a car accident that changed everything. I had to quit dance lessons, studies, and my job. I started practicing gentle yoga, then completed a Reiki training and the Rainbow Kids Yoga certification in 2013. In the spring 2014, I left my country house and went to live off-grid with plans to offer services for families on this very magical piece of land. I harvested and transformed the maple water, planted the greenhouse and the garden, built my own tipi, started sketching a business plan... When summer solstice came, things didn't feel right. Things didn't flow. I had to go. I stop working on the land. I stop cooking. I stop doing. I sat in my tipi, next to my tipi, harvested spring water and mint, made tea, cried, meditated... and repeated these during three days.
Then the answer came: Naramata was the song within my heart. I got rid of unnecessary belongings and packed my essentials into my little car. Two weeks later, I was driving the 4,392 km between Trois-Rivières and Naramata, with absolutely no other plan than going with the flow. They say that Naramata means "the smile of Manitou".
I quickly found a picking job with a sweet employer and a fun crew. Between many lovely wineries on the bench, I truly had the time of my life, enjoying the harvest with gratitude, contemplating the landscapes, and falling in love with an amazing community. Then November came and harvest was over. My snowbird self didn't save enough money to travel south... I needed a job, but I wasn't ready to settle. I wanted to keep it seasonal.
I had skied about six times in my entire life and the idea of spending the winter on the snow wasn't pleasing me at all, but I was also curious about this new world, way far out of my comfort zone. Since ski hills seemed to be the only logical place to look for a seasonal job at the moment, I researched the options all over the province, only to decide that I wanted to keep it local. Apex website indicated that the daycare attendant position for Rippin' Rascals was filled, but I applied anyway. I didn't apply anywhere else. I felt that it was meant to be. And I prayed. It happened.
It wasn't long before I was hired, but it took me until late January before moving into the staff accommodations, and really embracing the mountain life. I fell in love with this community and lifestyle right away, even though adapting to this new environment was quite the challenge, to say the least. I learned to snowboard here, starting on the bunny hill, practicing on icy conditions and collecting some epic bruises. Before I knew it, I was rippin' from the staff accommodations to work twice a day, coffee in hand, heading to Rippin' Rascals at sunrise, visiting the Heavens around sunset, and riding under the moonlight for my night shift at the Gunbarrel. I discovered so much magic in our winter wonderland, made amazing friends, and started taking roots... It took me three years following the seasons between the mountain and the valley before I decided to settle at Apex year-round.
Five years and so many adventures later, the true north on my magic compass still points here. Apex became the new song within my heart, and still causes my soul to dance in my body. I am in love with the magnificent landscapes, the fresh air, the clear waters, the vibrant community... I love that every time I step out of the door, a new magical adventure awaits. I love my friends to the moon and back. I love working with Apex families. I love being part of Apex Community Association. I love reading Apex Matters. I love Cheffy's vegan soups at the Edge and Joshua's vegan pastas at the Gunbarrel. I love Erica's crafts at Rippin' Rascals. I love everyone's smile around the village and how much love and kindness there is everywhere I go. I love to hang out with the elders, hearing stories about the old GB and the old times. I love to hang out with the youngsters, hearing about their projects and dreams. I love all the memories that we created, and the ones that we are creating. I love Apex community so very much that on a leap of faith, I secured a tiny rental for the year 2020, finally launched my business here, offering services for children and families in our community.
"Dreams do come true, if only we wish hard enough." - J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan