CMC 14 – The Happy Issue

Browse CMC Issues / Browsing Coast Mountain Culture Magazine

Are you happy? Are any of us? I don’t know. I’ve certainly felt happy in the moment, and friends know me to be easy to smile and laugh. I love a good joke, and I’d like to think I demonstrate joie de vivre.

I know I am sad. It’s clear to me. I get depressed easily. I have had panic attacks in the past and required medical assistance. I struggle with anxiety almost daily and have sleep problems.

I know I am loving. I love freely and deeply. I am the guy who cries easily. At my own wedding, I sobbed openly during the ceremony. Since becoming a father, I cry regularly in the presence of the unrestrained and infinite love that is my son. I believe if we all loved as openly as he does—and we could—we’d be transcendent. I am proud of this, if not a little embarrassed.

I know I am angry. A fractured childhood has left me with unresolved anger. It runs as a low, dark current just beneath the dirt. I am easily triggered if someone comes at me hard. I am ashamed of this, and I hide it as well as I can. I often fail.

I know I am joyful. If given a chance, I find joy in any situation. I laugh very loud when I am joyful. Joy may be the most comfortable place I visit.
I know I am fearful. I am afraid of living a diminished life. I fear conflict with others. I am terrified of violence. I mostly fear losing what is most important to me: love and health and creativity.

Am I happy? Sometimes. I was happy yesterday when I skied perfect slushy spring turns in the sunshine. I’m happy when I am left alone in silence to read a fresh Murakami novel. I’m happy when I swim in the clear rivers of Vancouver Island or jump off a tall seaside cliff into deep, salty water. I’m happy when my dog nuzzles into my neck or I’m carefully preparing an intricate meal for loved ones. I am happy when I tap into the elusive flow state on my mountain bike. And, when my wife looks at me in that way only she can, I taste it. It’s there. Fleeting, frustrating happiness. Here, and then gone.

Welcome to the Happy Issue?

—Mike Berard, Editor

Browse Articles

Read articles and editorial from "CMC 14 – The Happy Issue"


We received a letter to the editor from Claire who recognized the image that ran in our story about Lund, British Columbia.

Along the fertile banks of the Fraser River, kids are learning society’s rite to grow at Delta’s Farm Roots Mini School.

A new documentary chronicles the love, uncertain liberty and all-American pursuit of happiness that found its way to the remote Canadian West Coast over half a century ago.

Down Syndrome may offer a deeper glimpse into the joyous essence of the human spirit. A Squamish-based writer shares insights about her muse: Adele.

Forest-fire ecologist Robert Gray knows more than most when it comes to forest fires. So why is his expertise going unheeded? Veteran CBC journalist Jeff Davies investigates Gray’s know-how, and the naysayers.

Writer Jules Torti revisits a quintessential yukon how-to manual: The Lost Whole Moose Catalogue. Her findings? The good book’s Great White North knowledge holds true today in a world yearning for homesteads and the homemade.

Third-Generation Carver Ryan Scoular of Whistler, British Columbia, is a chip off the old block. By Lisa Richardson.

For 85-year-old Squamish climber “Big Jim” Sinclair, the last half century has been all up hill. Meet the man behind such area classics as “Diedre” and “Merci Me.”