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Shuswap author encourages self-reflection, environmental action

Alida Hilbrander says sign posts lead to experiences that help us recognize where we come from

Everyone has sign posts, or significant events, in their lives that lead them to their own unique experiences.

That’s the message of Alida Hilbrander’s newest book, Moorings. The book is part personal reflection, part metaphysical conversation starter and partly an environmental call to action, and Hilbrander said she hopes readers take a look at their own lives and begin to put together what brought them to where they are today.

Born in Holland before the Second World War, Hilbrander said she has had many experiences that have given her perspectives she appreciates. Being aware of resistance efforts around her in her home country, as people she knew helped transport families and escaped prisoners, she developed an understanding and sympathy for people like Indigenous groups who face discrimination and violence in Canada.

“People being invaded by another force, I have an understanding of that,” said Hilbrander. She added she is now passionate about doing what she can to listen to and help others.

“When you’re little, you’re so impressionable, and it shapes who you become. It’s given me a sensitivity, and that’s what sign posts in your life are about. There’s always a reason you’re doing it.”

Two people will never have the exact same sign posts or events that steer their life in the direction it takes, she said, and stressed that’s a good thing. Hilbrander shared two main messages: We can never compare one journey to another and should act with compassion and grace towards each other.

The modern world is too busy, with people not taking the time to reflect, said Hilbrander. She suggests finding a group of like-minded people and talking about your histories and what you feel are events that shaped you.

There is a greater benefit to this than just personal growth, she added. We are introduced to things in life to try them and find what fits and what is negative, she said, and we have to be shown what doesn’t work. Corporate businesses have their place but have “gone off the deep end” trying to make things fit, said Hilbrander, and we need to renew focus on environmental issues, combining science and spirituality and listening to those better connected than us.

“Humanity has to learn,” said Hilbrander, hoping her book will lead readers on a path of learning by looking back at all of our journeys. “There’s not just one answer.”

To further prove how things can fall into place in life, Hilbrander noted how Numerology factored into her book’s chapters. Without prior planning, during the publishing process, chapter six ended up containing the part she had written about how humans assign themselves leaders like Jesus and Buddha, and the number six in Numerology represents power. Chapter eight describes her musings on society getting more interested in deeper meanings of life and multidimensional realities, and the symbol for eight represents infinity and the ups and downs of life. Chapter 11 mentions being at one with the universe and 11 is a Master number, which in Numerology signifies the channel for truth and answers.

Hilbrander said this was all coincidental and as she looked over her finished product, she knew this was a sign she was supposed to write the book and that it would be relatable and grounded, relevant to anyone’s experiences.

Moorings can be found at Bookingham Palace in Piccadilly Mall or online at

Read more:Shuswap author’s first novel chronicles 1800s adventure from America to B.C.

Read more: 27 Days Around Shuswap Lake: Man publishes diary of journey to fulfill lifelong dream

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Rebecca Willson

About the Author: Rebecca Willson

I took my first step into the journalism industry in November 2022 when I moved to Salmon Arm to work for the Observer and Eagle Valley News. I graduated with a journalism degree in December 2021 from MacEwan University in Edmonton.
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