The Story of Canadian Artisans...

We came to this part of the forest to find refuge. Valerie was not well, we had a six month old baby and I had found work in Banff. The need to rest and find peace was foremost. We had saved for eight years and were now going to stay... close to the Bow River. Like many people, we wanted to work with the flow of life and cease pitting ourselves against it.  I remember how silly I felt moving tiny seedling trees in a wheelbarrow to make way for our foundation. The land knows you’re there.

Two years later, Valerie, Jesse and I sat down to visualize our home.  Valerie’s drawing became a windowsill looking out into the yard. It had all the details: the precious objects that were packed away in boxes, the plants, stained glass, sunshine.  Jesse had drawn a house and three Care Bear people on the walk leading to the door.  Mine was a picture of the river, the forest, prevailing winds, southern exposure, and the location of the trees in the yard.  All people share a vision of peace and harmony and every one of us has our own perspective.  The object then is to harness inspiration and work together.

Things come to you if you are open.  Valerie’s health was slowly improving using alternate health methods, Jesse was ready for school and I was a professional at the Banff Centre for the Arts.  This was when Julia was born and the four of us shared one bedroom in the finished part of our new house.

Canmore was changing from a small town into a tourist metropolis. Many old houses came down to make way.  The Treehouse was built using material from a pagoda that stood a few blocks away.  The owners had come to stay in our B&B one weekend and asked if we knew anyone with a bulldozer. We knew the spot and knew the pagoda had been a place of sharing and enjoyment. We offered to remove the building for them at no cost, before spring… which we did.  It took 4 months and many truckloads to dismantle and move the material to our yard.  Every board had to have nails removed and be machined to remove the old surface of the wood.  Then came the task of creating a treehouse from a pagoda.

It is now our guests that come to this part of the forest seeking refuge.  Individuals coming to be in Nature, find quiet moments, rejuvenate their spirit, enjoy each other, and retreat from the fast pace of busy lives.  These persons are an inspiration to us, providing us with new insights, sharing recognition for the work each of us accomplishes, and reminding us of humility... as we look out together at the sacred nature of these mountains and all life.