Navigating the Unpredictable

A letter from the editor

At BESIDE, we believe our relationship with nature is one of the things that gives our lives the most meaning—and that the closer we get to it, the greater our desire to protect it will become. We also believe that culture can serve as a bridge to help connect us to the wild.

We explore these ideas in the magazine, of course, but we also want them to be rooted in experience—the experience of being right there in the middle of the woods.

This is why we decided, a few years ago, to adventure into the unknown waters of real estate. With our rustic little boat piled high, we had a goal: to protect the land, but in a new way, a sustainable way. We created our first BESIDE Habitat location, in Lanaudière. And through the sale and rental of architectural cabins on just one part of the land, we were able to protect 900 acres of centennial forest.

This adventure has been a challenge with its share of headwinds: the pandemic, war, inflation, rising interest rates, and more (without even mentioning all the other barriers in the industry). We’ve named our boat Resilience.

But oh, what a beautiful view from here. The air is fresh and the encounters are rich. Now, with a large community of Besiders—artists, biologists, trail builders, birdwatchers, architects, musicians, visitors—we are experiencing our questions in real time. Trials, errors, adjustments, fine tuning, progress (repeat). Today’s learning, combined with yesterday’s and the day before yesterday’s, is what propels us ever forward.

We know we’ll need patience, because “these things take time,” but each time the sun comes out, the fog dissipates. We realize how far we’ve come and what luck we have, to experience what we’re living and, above all, to be part of something greater than ourselves.

Thank you for your trust as we continue in our quest to do things differently, through deep belief and curiosity.


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