sunset on Elephant Mountain

sunset on Elephant Mountain

This week, I interrupted my coastal California research to rush home to Nelson, B.C., where I received the honour of Cultural Ambassador for 2017.  It was a rude climatic shift – from 60 f. to 0 f. (about 15 c. to -12 c.!)  It was also a reminder of the wonder and beauty of the mountains that feed the headwaters of the 4th largest river in North America, the Columbia River.

The poem I wrote to mark the award:


How I do love you, Nelson.


your tilted streets ascend the mountain slope to

greet the forest

running up so cheerfully

as if

you two were friends who could learn from each other.


each morning

the Elephant waits patiently

for you

to come awake


the wonder that defines who you are


some winter afternoons

rosy light drifts down Evening Ridge to greet the night

the summer is a long wish away



How I do love you, Nelson.


your lake’s mist-shrouded crowd

of glittering beauty

your granite spires softened by drifting snow

your stone-lined streets etched in seasonal shadow


you found me a place to live,

inspired meaning for my words,

held me as I found my way.



–Eileen Delehanty Pearkes

   December 12, 2017

Written by Eileen Delehanty Pearkes