Have you ever heard a whispering in the wind when climbing the gentle slope of Munson Mountain?  Along the historic KVR trail, were you ever silenced by the abrupt presence of a befalling mystery, suddenly suspended all around you like a thick plume of smoke?  What made you pause a brief moment to hush those around you because you may or may not have heard a humming in the air…?  And yet the haunting feeling follows, a melodic thought that weaves in and out of consciousness, undoubtedly some cryptic song sung across the valley’s extending plateaus of orchards and vineyards…  Indeed the Okanagan Valley has its fair share of secrets and complexities.  It is ruled by a deep-set, bellowing ancientness that has a sobering affect on the senses.  The valley is kingdom to the old and new, both an Eden of treasures and a trench of unyielding willfulness.  Its vision began with one, drawn out breath of fire and smoke, heat and ash, 50 million years past, when Hephaistos ruled with an iron fist and Vulcan molded Cenozoic landscapes by the craftmanship of his fiery forge.  The earth expanded and contracted, grew hot and cold, and with each push and pull, the labour of its own birth slowly began to form what we now love and cherish as the unparalleled beauty of the Okanagan Valley.  Amidst its struggle, the earth created in its bosom, a bequest of riches.  Diamonds, forged from the draft of creation, line the darkness below with light from above.  They were usurped by an ancient magma and brought close to the Earth’s surface through the rumblings of deep volcanic eruptions, where they cooled and crystallized.  Like a treasure chest tethered by a map, the many trails and roadways weaving along the Naramata Bench, potentially lead to this invaluable source.  For Pentictonites who continue to listen carefully to the Earth’s whispers and songs, it is known – this untapped, legendary source, like a secret stash of wealth hidden beneath our mattress.  One such individual shares this intuition.  His heroic impetus now pioneers the search for this earthly dowry among the inconspicuous landscape of the South Okanagan.  An explorer in his own right, Marko Cucnik, young in years, wise in congenital and instinctual wisdoms, advances the chase.  Following the prehistoric trail of ash and fire, like the passage to a dragon’s liar, Marko is cautious and apprehensive.  Unwilling to disturb the sleeping giant of dormant magma and ash which festers beneath the two volcanic cores of Munson Mountain, he treads lightly.  He knows that should he dig too deep, Penticton may once again succumb to the wrath and fury of those ancient Heathen Gods.  So do these diamonds come at an impossible price?  Or are they simply a garnish in the depths, an ornamental column rather than a supporting beam?  Marko, our intrepid explorer, is out to discover the truth for us all.  And yet the murmurs beneath the mantle continue… a rumbling of sorts, reminding us, Pentictonites, of our humble beginnings, and the dealings of the deep.

-Elizabeth Cucnik