Evolve Cellars encourages us to celebrate life’s precious moments like these.
As I stand before the hand-carved, over-sized doors leading into the Squamish Lil-Wat Cultural Center in Whistler I admire the symbol of hands lifted high in gratitude. I am here for the Nourish Retreat, a special edition to the Cornucopia Food and Drink Festival menu, which focuses on personal wellness.
Each totem, each canoe, each artifact has a story that represents our rich Canadian heritage. Beyond the cultural center, the Istken Pithouse calls us inside. This is a sacred space where I have come to begin anew and open myself to new possibilities.
Adorned in traditional First Nations attire, goddess and Cultural Ambassador Holly Joseph from the Lil-Wat nation welcomes me and our group with open arms; a sacred practice is about to take place.
The sacred smudging ceremony begins. One at a time we are invited to let go, to cleanse, to purge any negative thoughts or feelings holding us back from our true potential. Holly Joseph pours her divine heart into sharing her healing powers with us. She is a spiritual teacher with a gift that heals and uplifts the human spirit. Using sage from the Lil’Wat land, we use the smoke-like water to cleanse our eyes, heads, our hearts, feet and even our jewelry in order to wipe the slate and start anew.
Words cannot give justice to this experience: the stories, the singing, the tea ceremony and the First Nations teachings were gifts of welcome. Filled with gratitude, I walk away feeling fresh, alive and free…ready to eat, drink and be merry Cornucopia style. I am so grateful to be here, let the journey unfold.