In movies, the cities where the films are set are sometimes characters themselves.
For example, in Lost In Translation, Tokyo is central to the story; the same with New York City in Manhattan and Paris in Midnight In Paris.
Over the last few years, we have spent a lot of time collectively criticizing and, in some cases, panicking over or romanticizing what Squamish could become.
We frame the story around what this town can give to us.
But what has it taught us?
It is an interesting question to ponder.
Whether you have been here a day, a week or a lifetime, this place has impacted you in some way.
Some of us learned that nature is more powerful than we are and deserves our respect. Others shed their city masks and learned to go more with the flow or think outside the box.
Our rugged environment has surface impacts that are sometimes humorous.
At The Squamish Chief, we once had a new journalist who reported, after a nip over to Zephyr Café for a coffee, that she needed a dog, a baby in a rugged stroller, and a puffy winter jacket, Blundstones and reusable coffee thermos stat if she was going to fit in.
She also needed a Thule carrier on her RAV4, we would add.
Marketers often package where we live: “Beautiful B.C.” or “Explore Squamish,” for profit, but the impact of place has long been known to be much more intimate and powerful.
“Engaging with the identity of a place — whether that be its physical attributes or social history — can help ground people to feel more at home,” writes Francesca Perry in the Thinking City piece, “How does place shape who we are?”
“Cities are forever in flux, and their populations largely transitory; we seek out stories and markers of identity to anchor ourselves and create a comforting form of place attachment that, in turn, nurtures our own identity. Instead of promoting the identity of a place for profit, we can do so for social and community good. And the first step towards this is inclusive conversation.”
So, over to you, dear reader. As you reflect on the year that was and what is to come, we would love to know how Squamish has shaped you.
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