Jack Frost really loves us!

COFFEE WITH WARREN, with Warren Harbeck
Cochrane Eagle, February 14, 2019

Original art by Jack Frost.
Photography by Warren Harbeck

Poets couldn’t have proclaimed their Valentine’s Day love for our community more eloquently than Jack Frost has on our windows the past few days. When Elizabeth Barrett Browning asks, “How do I love thee?” Jack Frost responds in balletic bravuras and graceful arabesques that dance across our windows in feathery filigrees of loveliness that declare with every crystalline curve and caress a love no words can adequately express.

Jack Frost even created the makings for a special Valentine’s Day card on our dining room window the other day and begged me to grab my camera and let all my readers know how much he loves you.

I had no choice but to oblige.

And indeed, as I looked through the viewfinder, it was clear that he chooses Beauty to declare his love – a love, he whispered to me, that celebrates the beauty of our land and people here in our part of Alberta.

It goes without saying that he enjoys a special kinship with our natural surroundings: the mountains to the west, the forested foothills, and the Bow River Valley, home to his relatives, Bear, Moose, Elk, Deer, Cougar, Coyote, Fox, Squirrel, Eagle, Sparrow, Trout, Ladybug and the rest of his family.

And then there’s the rich heritage of the Stoney Nakoda First Nation at Morley, with its life-affirming values rooted in respect for all parts of the creation and its Creator.

There’s Cochrane’s ranching heritage, too, reflected in its trademark horse-and-rider Men of Vision statue, and the Legacy statue, popularly known as “The Chicken Lady.”

Jack Frost drew a big heart around one truly beautiful feature of life here that he so treasures – a quality that has endured over the years as our community has grown by leaps and bounds: neighborly hospitality.

People actually like each other here! And it’s not just the friendliness experienced in coffee shops, pubs, post office and churches, but in meaningful gestures such as getting up on a snowy morning and discovering your neighbour has already shoveled your sidewalk for you!

So, how does Jack Frost love us this Valentine’s Day? By celebrating the beauty of life he treasures here in our foothills community. His frosty filigrees give new meaning to Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s own answer to that question:

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight….
I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

And with that I join our real cool artist friend in wishing all of you a HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

© 2019 Warren Harbeck

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