LITTLE VALLEY: Arlo Fleenor

Our young residents reflect on the home they’re growing up in.

 


 

Age 13

I have lived in the same place my whole life, in a smallish house in deep west Courtenay, near the river, forest, and not too far from downtown, with everything you need right on your doorstep. And that’s a big part of what’s so great about the Valley. The fact that we have it all: mountains, ocean, a great community, and spectacular scenery. Spring, summer, fall, winter; all seasons have something to offer. I don’t know why you’d want to live anywhere else. In the winter, I like to play hockey. Normally I’ll play on the rink but if it’s cold enough and the ponds freeze, then we’ll play outside.

As much as I love hockey season though, summer is my favourite. In summer, we go swimming in the river almost every day, at Nymph Falls, Puntledge Park, and Stotan Falls. We have names for all the areas and rocks. We spend hours in the water swimming and laughing with friends and family.

Another thing I like about summer in the Valley is Vancouver Island MusicFest, which happens at the Courtenay fairgrounds every July. I have been to MusicFest every year of my life since before I was even born, since my mom went when she was pregnant with me. This means I don’t necessarily remember every act that I have seen over the years (including bluegrass legend Del McCoury, as my dad often reminds me) but I take pride in the fact that I am a true MusicFester. The MusicFest experience isn’t solely about watching music though. For me, an important aspect is playing music in the campgrounds with my dad and other musicians. I can play guitar like my dad and most other people, but every once in a while you’ll get a bass player, a mandolin player, or some other instrument there. All the playing and watching music in July can get dusty and hot though, that’s why we like to take the trail down from the fairgrounds to the Tsolum River where we can cool off in the water. This is where my two favourite parts of summer, swimming and MusicFest, combine to create fun times and awesome memories.

Living here through all the seasons, I experience so many different aspects of the Valley that I am so lucky to live around. No matter where I go in my life, I know that I will always come back to this amazing place, and feel joy and pride to be able to call it my home.