The leaves are changing color. The early morning presents frost, foreshadowing what lies ahead. A fire starts deep in the belly as the mind is finally allowed to drift toward winter. Winter is a season many yearn for, spend all summer working for, and even travel all year for. But right now it is Fall; a season unique in suggesting preparation while evoking reflection. The obvious changes reveal an ending that forces the mind to embrace what lies ahead, behind, and directly in front.
I walk outside and am treated to a mirage of color. The coolness sends a shiver up my spine, ending in an exhale that mimics the steam erupting from the cup of coffee in my hand. I quickly glance to the mountain peaks in hopes of seeing snow as I sit on a bench supported by my deck. I am taking a moment to remember. Honestly I always think about him, but today I have an excuse; one year ago my beloved friend JP passed on.
Although I wish we could, there is no going back. Even if we could, we wouldn’t be living life. I miss my friend who seemed to have it all figured it out by embracing each and every moment, knowing that within them lay the true essence of life. He was always an ambassador for the mountains, enjoying every step in them while respecting the power they held. The truth of who he was came to the surface of the mountains; his true genius erupted from within.
He was an inspiration. He was a great friend. A friend who never judged others, instead he applauded their unique path and simply pushed and inspired them to be the best version of themselves.
He never took anything for granted and found joy in the simplest of things, a great cup of coffee, poutine, and even washing the dishes. He was humble in life and let his actions be his loudest voice.
Since his passing, I’ve realized the greatest lesson I have learned from JP is one of gratitude. Whether it was people or places, JP was always grateful. More than that, he would be fully present - it was his way of showing respect. His love of the mountains blossomed into a deep consciousness for the earth and moved him to do his part in preserving her beauty. He was genuine in his encounters with others and deeply appreciated those who helped him along the way, and in doing so touched many during his life. He felt blessed to live the life he did so he started Alpine Initiatives in hopes of giving back, yet he was beyond thankful for each person and experience that it provided.
I love thinking about JP! I am so thankful for every moment I shared with him. The wisdom he shared is contagious and I find it seeping in to all aspects of my life. JP embodied gratitude, and as I try to live like my hero I find my life is sweeter.
From all of us at Alpine Initiatives, Jean-Phillipe Auclair we honor you, we love you, and we thank you.
By AI Co-Founder, Mikey Hovey