Aaron Hemens is the editor for the Creston Valley Advance. (Photo by Rame Kader)

Column: Sunnier days will return

“What keeps me hopeful is knowing that just like the windstorm, both the cloud of smoke and the negative physical and mental health implications that come with it will pass”

It is safe to say that this week’s news cycle was a little distressing. It began with a windstorm and ended with a blanket of smoke.

The windstorm that swept through the Valley last week saw gusts of wind reach frightening speeds of 75 km/h. Trees of all sizes were uprooted. Power-lines were wrecked. Structures were damaged. Power outages persisted for days. Debris can still be found strewn throughout town.

And, as I write this, the beautiful Creston Valley — like much of southern BC — is hidden behind a veil of thick smoke, which made its way north from the wildfires devastating the western United States.

The town is blanketed by this fog of smoke. The grounding feeling that comes when looking at the mountain peaks is missing. The sun is blood red, and the baby blue sky has been replaced with a thick haze made of yellow and grey tints. The threat to the air quality in the area is “very high,” according to BC Air Quality’s Cranbrook station for Sept. 14.

It is also worth mentioning that we still find ourselves in the middle of a global pandemic — six months in to be exact — with no concrete end to it in sight.

It’s a lot to take in. Luckily, no one in the Creston Valley was reported injured by nature’s wrath, but I think that it’s fair to say that what Mother Nature has inflicted upon us has taken some sort of toll on our spirits.

Call me dramatic, but there were moments this past weekend where it felt a little like it was the end of times. I know that the world isn’t ending, but there were instances where I felt a sense of helplessness when I looked up at the sky. My entire weekend was spent on wallowing in the doom and gloom of the situation.

It’s been a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions, but what keeps me hopeful is knowing that just like the windstorm, both the cloud of smoke and the negative physical and mental health implications that come with it will pass. It is true that we are at the mercy of nature, but we possess the power to control how we perceive and react to its conditions.

I guess the silver lining in the past week’s events is that it made me more grateful for simple sunny days, and reminded me of the power and impact that nature has on our mental health.

So if you’re someone like me who’s been feeling a bit down by the world as of late, just know that you’re not alone. It hasn’t been an easy year for most of us. Take comfort in knowing that the cloud of smoke will pass and sunny days will return — with a chance of showers, of course.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: aaron.hemens@crestonvalleyadvance.ca


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