Darlene Friesen: Quilt Artist and Coach
Quilting and sewing coach serving the North Okanagan in British Columbia: Classes offered in my studio or your home. I provide consultation to aid your personal projects. I also provide longarm quilting service.

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My connections with trees is multifaceted. I grew up on the west coast, the daughter of a faller. Also, about the time I was born, my maternal grandfather purchased a second growth forested acreage on the Coquitlam River. Forests provided my father with work during the week, and on the weekends, the forest that my grandfather had purchased was our family retreat, far away from the bustle of suburban Burnaby in the 60's.

The forest my mom's family owned was 6 acres set on the Coquitlam River. As a young children, my siblings, cousins and I were enticed to explore this dark interior. It was beautiful. The smell was dank and musky, and a little sweet. Wildflowers and ferns flourished in the rays of sunlight that made it through the canopy overhead. The moss and rich undergrowth felt good under our small feet.

We would tell our parents,"We're going to play in the forest", and off we went, confident we woud always find our way home. After all, it was only 6 acres, and our parents were fine with that. Before long, and thanks to my older cousins, the forest boasted many forts. Along the trails, was the tin fort, the fallen log fort, and the fort with real dishes in it. But, the real treat was the forest itself. Quiet and magestic, this sacred space held me. My senses were drenched with its beauty.

The light danced through the forest, always changing the way I saw this space. It was usually damp, and sometimes the light made things sparkle. I remember random shafts of light beaming towards the forest floor. I stared at those light shafts, watching small bugs dance through them. The whole place was alive.

When my little forays into the forest were over, I remember the feeling of emerging from the forest, heading back to the clearing where our families gathered. My sensed had been drenched by the forest, and now as I emerged, I had to readjust. While I believe the sacred space that I had experienced stayed deep within my soul, the notion of being back "in civilization", required me to tamper it down. I was back where I needed to talk, relate and behave. But, I knew that my childhood magical forested world could be visited again, and often. It was the most wonderful part of my childhood.