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Coffee with Warren: To Cochrane!

Ron’s gracious poem is attached over my photo of Cochrane, as viewed from Big Hill against the backdrop of the majestic Canadian Rockies.

What a treat I received the other day from Parksville, B.C. coffee companion, Ron Gobeil. From reading the email editions of these columns, he has become increasingly aware of what a great community of “peace and goodwill” Cochrane is. In fact, while out for a walk, the spirit of Cochrane “resonated within me deeply,” he says, and this poem came to him.

 I’ve set Ron’s gracious poem over my attached photo of Cochrane, as viewed from Big Hill against the backdrop of the majestic Canadian Rockies and the land of our good neighbours, the Stoney Nakoda Nation.

 I asked Ron to tell us more about this poetic moment. He responded as follows:

MUCH OF YOUR COLUMN resonates with me during my early-morning walks and has enabled me to know so much about Cochrane; so much so that I feel like I’m actually sipping coffee with you right there.

I always look for the positives along my morning route; a tree blossom, a flower that peeks out of a patch of weeds, a colourful mushroom, the sound of a bird singing its heart out, cloud formations that always seem to resemble a dog or bird, people’s expressions as I pass them, albeit smiles, frowns or sorrow. I always endeavour to make their days a bit brighter with some form of greeting, or conversation, and of course, one of my morning smiles. Sometimes, even a timely hug is in order. 

I think of my prior day, what I accomplished and what I could have done better. I like to think of how lucky I am to have lived a long healthy life. Next month I will hopefully reach my 83rd birthday. 

I like to plan my 6-point “to do” list for the day, during these walks. I find that 6 is a good number, at least for me, and my 6-point goal is usually quite easily met.

Our home is in Parksville, where I’ve lived for the past 15 years. I’m originally from Alberta, and have had occasions to visit Cochrane. It is beautifully situated. I’m now a writer, and have published 6 (there’s that #6 again) []novels.

My poem to you is a thank you to you and your town for your positive and inspiring messages of hope and goodwill. Keep those columns coming, Warren. The world needs all the good news it can get.

—Ron Gobeil, novelist & blogger


© 2024 Warren Harbeck

[email protected]


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