I boldly ask strangers what draws them here. They all answer in their own way but the statement and the question are the same. “Can’t you feel it?!”…I didn’t have to wonder. I only had to wander for a while. That said, I don’t know how long. This place makes you lose time and creates indelible memories…






Dinosaur Provincal Park

When you get to where the time stands still, you discover that the Hoodoos protect the space by providing Hard Rock umbrellas of stone…the sand erodes but does not dissolve the footprints… For many, the sand gets in their blood and removes any desire to be somewhere else… There are mighty bones of creatures that, in their day, had been tattooed by the teeth of a scavenger by balancing nature…3 seconds in a time 3 million years ago. You can journey to the Valley of the Castles to see 35 million year old sandcastles. Sculpted by the calloused hands of grandfather time. Wander amidst the petrified parade of graveyard floats…then settle in for a romantic moment standing on the plateau in “The Valley of the Moon”… For me this was love at first sight. From a distance the most stunning model I have ever seen - as a fool falling in love will do. I got closer. The closer I got, the more stunning she became. The closer I got, I could swear she wore no make-up. Just natural beauty! There was no pretense -just the raw strength of female power. As she accepted me I felt blessed to be in the womb of my Mother Earth. - Tom


Red Roof B&B, Brooks

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Rita and Collin from Red Roof B&B came from Holland looking for work, they arrived in Brooks feeling like they had seen their last tree. But you can and will find yourself here… Emptiness can reinvent you. Here there was no noise. Together they saved and bought a trailer and expanded it into a 4000 sq ft B&B. 40 years later, they have added another 5000 sq ft of creative space! Collin built the house from straw, (which was provided by farmer Joel) architect of self-design. In concert with building the home, Rita felt the Badlands energy touch her hands and started to express a not so latent talent. She started to paint. Their home is now Rita’s incubator of art therapy and empowerment for young minds. With a desire to share with the little ones, Rita asks the great question. What would you really like to change? Paint it! Write it! Sing it! In one square meter, kids can discover the world… - Tom

Awad & Rana

awad-rana-brooks


Their first kiss in a storm…after traveling from Windsor ON…30 greyhound hours in search of a new life! $35 and a dream…both 19 years old…sleeping in a hotel lobby on an uncertain first night…praying to meet an uncle and a new life the next day…Even with the culture shock of finding no shopping mall and after the declaration, “I’m out of here”, there was a magnetic pull from the people who live here. Despite the fierce need to be independent, entrenched in the characters who come to Brooks, the kindness of the community and the need to help others was what conquered their fear and uncertainty. It eventually forged the bond… Rana : “I didn’t know anyone else, anywhere else in my world, who would do that!”. I take liberty in saying, it may not be that their new life is, in part because of new family and friends, but rather that new family and friends have made a new life. She is now a paramedic and Awad drives a truck and is a volunteer fire fighter. First kiss in a storm…anyone can kiss in the sunshine… - Tom


Cassandra

brooks-alberta


The born acrobat…the contortionist…the trickster…the clown…the pool player…the rebel…the guitar player…the singer…the actor…theatre producer/director…the dancer…biz owner…the mom…the future… - Tom


Don Rib, Mayor of Rosemary

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The soil of Rosemary is fertile and as its heat penetrates the souls of the feet, it warms the heart…those who are born here are the biggest export of Rosemary…the biggest import are those who left…grown-up, they come back because this is where they grew up…Family is here and they are not leaving… fingernails get dirty here…farming doesn’t leave the soul…maybe a big sky and the comfortable aroma of sage will bring you here, but it is the depth of the soul and the roots that bring the understanding “I will not be uprooted” - Tom

 

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