Naomi's Wave

Naomi

At Corner Rapids, on the Churchill River, in Saskatchewan’s far north, there is a plaque that reads:

To the memory of Naomi Heffler,

who never missed a chance to surf here.

“Naomi’s Wave”

"Thank God! There is always a Land of Beyond,

For us who are true to the trail,

A vision to seek, a beckoning peak,

A fairness that will never fail"

.…...The Land of Beyond, Robert Service

Naomi Heffler

About Naomi Heffler

Naomi Grace Heffler was a vibrant, energetic, passionate young woman, who passed away in the Selkirk Mountains of British Columbia, Canada on Monday, January 20, 2003, at the age of 25 years. She was lost in a tragic avalanche, pursuing on of her many passions, skiing.

A native Calgarian, Naomi attended Highwood Elementary School, George P. Vanier, and William Aberhart.  She graduated from the University of Calgary in 2002 with a degree in Chemical Engineering after having spent her internship in Ottawa at CH2M HILL.

During Naomi's short life, she excelled at everything she attempted. She was on the University of Calgary swim team; coached competitive swimming; and played and taught the piano.

Naomi was passionate about the outdoors. She was an accomplished paddler in both the canoe and the kayak, and an expert back country skier. She spent many summers guiding and instructing at Churchill River Canoe Outfitters in Missinipe, Saskatchewan, Nahanni Wilderness Adventures, and was also a canoe and kayak instructor with Rocky Mountain Paddling Centre.

"She will be remembered for her ever present smile, her attention to detail, and her love of life. Every day was a good day to go paddling for her."...... Ric Driediger, Churchill River Canoe Outfitters

Naomi has been dearly missed by her beloved family and her many friends, but her legacy lives on through her accomplishments and the many memories she has left behind with all who knew her.

Naomi Heffler

Naomi's Wave

Naomi loved whitewater! She loved to paddle through it, to cruise around in it and to "surf" various waves she loved. When Naomi was playing on the Churchill River at Missinipe, SK, one of her favorite things was to surf the top wave at Corner Rapids. In fact, she was one of the few who could get onto that wave. She would hover on it for hours!

On Saturday, May 17, 2003, a group of friends and former colleagues from Churchill River Canoe Outfitters met at Corner Rapids to remember Naomi and to officially to name the top wave "Naomi's Wave". A plaque identifying Naomi's Wave is embedded permanently on a rocky outcrop on the nearby shoreline.

Naomi’s Wave

In 2013, Sue Leonard and me, Zane Hrynewich traveled to Forest House in northern Saskatchewan to record a song to celebrate Naomi Heffler's life, spirit and love of the outdoors.

So here it is…... “Naomi’s Wave” …... dedicated to the memory of a young lady Sue and I never knew, but who inspired us to undertake this journey in her name. Why?...... Because we so admire her, her enthusiasm, and her oneness with mother nature.

We hope the spirit of this song is universal, celebrating all women of strength, determination, character, resolve, and compassion.

I am Mother Nature's daughter, deep within this world,

I leave my troubles and all my cares behind.

This place I call my home, where rushing waters hold me dear,

Suspends me here in time.

I am the water,

I am the sky.

I am the earth below,.

Where Mother Nature smiles.

In the stillness, I can hear my thoughts clearly,

While this gentle water, it holds me tenderly,

This wave and I are partners, in a dance we hold each other,

One life, one soul together, endlessly.

I am the water,

I am the sky,

I am the earth below,

I'm Mother Nature's smile.

The silence that surrounds me here, it sings so loud, it sounds so clear,

For all who came before me here.

I am the breath, I am the light, I am the stars that bathe your soul,

On this magic night.

I am the water,

I am the sky,

I am the earth below,

Hear Mother Nature's smile.

I am the water,

I am the sky,

I am the earth below,

I'm Mother Nature's child.

I am the water,

I am the sky,

I am the earth below,

I'm Mother Nature's smile.

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Copyright © 2013 Churchill River Canoe Outfitters/Forest House/CyberSlang Consulting/Sue Leonard

All Rights Reserved.