Eyes of the beholder, as they say

Mike Davies, Editor-in-Chief  Ω

The Omega hosted a conference this past weekend.

“Good for you,” you say, “lots of people hosted conferences this past weekend.”

While that may be true, I only experienced one first hand — WPNCUP 2012: KamiCon.

WPNCUP stands for Western, Prairies and Northern Canadian University Press, and KamiCon is just what we called it as an homage to a little gathering held in San Diego every year.

I’m not going to go through everything that happened at the event, or tell you about all the great speakers we had — you should have attended if you wanted to know these things — but I will comment on the feedback I received.

I’m not talking about the “Well done. You must have put a lot of work into planning this,” type comments I received for my team’s efforts, I’m talking about the one prevailing idea expressed to me by the delegates who came from all over a region that stretches from Victoria to Winnipeg.

“Wow,” they said en masse.

“This place is beautiful,” they told me as they peered out over the valley at the hills above and rivers below.

“Yes it is,” said I, acknowledging that they saw what I see every day and appreciated it as I have not done in a few years now.

I think maybe we get so accustomed to beauty when we’re around it all the time that we need reminding of just how lucky we are.

As Marvin Beatty has been doing for the past few weeks (based on his tweeting), knowing that winter is soon to be upon us, I encourage you to get out in the environment you find yourself in and truly engage with it. Check out one of Marvin’s findings on this week’s cover, by the way.

Take a walk in the hills while there are still paths you can see, find a little piece of paradise somewhere to reflect on how lucky you are to be here.

Head down to Peterson Creek Park—just across from Denny’s on Columbia St. for those who don’t know—and head up the ravine before it gets treacherous.

Heck, if you have a car, there’s a real attractive drive starting here and heading in any direction — for any length of time — so take off even for an hour and look around.

After all, as Sam Brooks, president of Canadian University Press headquartered in Toronto, said in his closing remarks, he found himself not wanting to leave, because “Kamloops is all pretty, and Toronto is all concretey.”

When people come here they are truly amazed, so maybe we should look at it how they saw it this past weekend — with a fresh set of eyes before it gets covered in snow.

It’ll be here any day now.