The Space Between

Mining for gold

Bob and Vicky live in High River, Alberta. They lost their business of 20 years to the recent flood, as well as all the memories and treasures they had lovingly collected and displayed in the basement of their family home. Along with my sister, who is their good friend, I had the chance to lend a hand, in the hope that even one person makes a difference.

As I was going through the images of that day in High River, I was not sure what I had captured, and certainly had no intention to make the images into a video. As I was converting the photos to B/W and listening to my music on itunes, a song by the Cowboy Junkies came on and it stopped my heart. I thought, “just like the song, these wonderful people, and the volunteers who are helping them dig out their lives, really are mining for gold – the gold that is their life, their memories”.

As I drove around High River that day, I could see the hardship in the faces, both emotional and physical. I also saw the hope. In the 3 young men from Quebec who had been on a holiday and decided to stay for a week in High River and help.To the woman from Sundre who was camping out, offering her assistance to whomever needed it. To the guy with his backhoe and the crew from Edmonton with their big trucks and big hearts. It touched me to the core and it touched me once again when I looked at the pictures.

This is for you Bob and Vicky, and for my sister Heather who left a giant piece of her heart in High River when she moved away a few years ago. I am grateful to have been able to help you in my very very small way, and I wanted you to know how inspired I was by your strength and spirit, even in its fragility. I am still affected by the experience and think of you both everyday; I only wish I could have done more. And I hope the generosity of others continues to flow, to you and to those around you.

In October 2012, I drove 6,800 kms with my artist husband, Ric Kokotovich (, and my dog Iggy, to spend 6 months in our adopted city of Merida. Leaving the fast paced world of Calgary behind, I packed my books, art and entrepreneurial spirit, and set off to explore what lay beyond the borders that had become my life. In October 2013 we hit the road south again, hoping to find out what ‘living the dream’ really means. This is my adventure.

1 comment on “Mining for gold

  1. You’ve shared an amazing experience and your heart & emotions show through in the video.
    Well done my friend!

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