On a hunting trip, paddling along in a canoe on an endless lake with my father and one of my sons, when suddenly a powerful ray of the setting sun burst through the thick clouds and temporarily shone a bright light on our canoe. From there on, slowly but determined to move on, as it got bigger and brighter, beautiful colours started appearing all around us, as the single ray hit the shorelines way beyond. At tto same time, shadows were cast far and wide against the still-dark sky.

As fate and destiny would have it, for a moment in time at “evening’s calm and holy hour,” behold through vision, hearts are made to understand why they must go on, to live, to love and to hold.

In awe of its hugeness and beauty, the life survived together. Still now, my father starts to sing a song my ancestors always sang whenever these moments were bestowed upon them on their long journey. A song etched into our hearts to share.

Because of the strength of the heart to love, to trust, it blinds us. In time, just when fate and destiny prevailed, we wake up one day and realize that a curse hangs over our children. That a piece of this planet of the universe, the tall strong black spruce and their kind, that hid our world, made us feel secure, we find out, strangers of this world will pay any price to have them.

In our tradition, where humans walk softly on this earth, people listen and care for each other, one falls and several help him up. We cannot understand, or ever will, why we had to beg and plead, why could they just not listen when we told them not to take the trees away, not for any price.

Because they have been with us since the beginning, and without them, we do not know what to do. But they just tell us not to live in a romantic world.

Because we have been together for a long time, caring for one another, we feel she is sick, that the land needs us now, more than ever before. Hope and pray, we have not reached the point of no return, I’m afraid.

Wherever we are, in the woods that are left, we shall fall to our knees, pray hard to the Almighty Creator, the Alpha and the Omega, that He may give strength to our children to carry on, to extend or make new trails, discover new lands.

And the curse on our peoples, burying our Elders with sad hearts to end, to be no more as surely as the beginning of creation was, where life and death were as much of the universe as we were part of this world we believed would never end.

Inspired by my father and son and the creation.

Dedicated to my father who is still alive today, born in the bush and grew up there.

And to my mother, who passed away to meet her maker, who also was born in the bush, now buried where she always belonged.

These two persons, who taught us to stay in touch with the world always, talked about a million years ago, just like it happened yesterday.

Forever, I will remain indebted and grateful to both until we meet again in another world.

Ed Note:

We are reprinting this piece in it’s entirety. Due to technical difficulties