You know you’re getting old when everything turns into “a moment.” Every beautiful scene, cool breeze, old song, a certain smell turns emotional and it is in that split second that time stands still. I’ve been having a lot of those lately! And the best thing about this age is the smart phone – it is within arm’s reach for you to capture your moment and share with it instantly with your world-wide-web buddies.

Youth Grand Chief Joshua Iserhoff

I spent a week in Whapmagoostui and I must say that I absolutely loved the sunsets. I sat alone on the beach and I had a spiritual moment. I’m a crier. I love to cry. I am not ashamed to go into the ugly cry. I am expressive, maybe too much but anyhow…

Just a week before, I was at a leadership school and we learned about having a contemplative life. I had to Google the word in class just so I could follow Mr. Piorek. To sum it up, it was about centring yourselves and allowing the Creator to speak to you. This “contemplative” teaching could have not come at a better time in my life. I sat on the sandy beach (Hi, Lillian Sandy!) and began to exercise what I was taught. What an amazing “moment” I experienced. The sound of waves crashing against the shores while seagulls blissfully flew above me and the Hudson Bay wind blowing on my face, I was in heaven! I watched the sun go down and many tears danced across my face as I felt at peace watching the beautiful sunset. This is heaven on earth! Whapmagoostui should be on your bucket list. You will not be disappointed, especially if you love ATVs and long walks in the dunes. Pretty romantic I say!

Whilst prancing around the gravel streets of Great Whale, I was surprised with a great welcome by my reznotes colleague, the one and only, Mr. Sonny Orr! We chatted for a bit, but I couldn’t go over for a visit as he had appointments in the south. Always on the move that buddy of ours! By the way, Sonny has the best bomber jacket in the whole Cree Nation. He is a vintage man with great taste and great words!

Two cultures, Cree and Inuit, living side by side, is also fascinating. I loved hearing the Inuit radio broadcaster announce a Puerto Rican song, followed by an Inuit accordion jam. What a fantastic mix! I had the chance to hear Daphne Calvin (who has the best red hair in Kuujjuarapik) and her beautiful friend throat sing. I tried to imitate the sounds but I’ll leave it to the ladies to do their thang. Do men throat sing? I forgot to ask. Anyhow, I’ll be practicing for sure!

I did the “loop” numerous times, and each time I had incredible “moments.” Surely it is untouched land and so beautiful. I’ll never forget my time at the beach. I thank the Creator for blessing our friends in Whapmagoostui/ Great Whale/ Kuujjuarapik/ Poste-de-la-Baleine (four names for the same place) with beautiful scenery and one mighty river.

One last thing, you have to ask one of the locals about Mundoonuk and its mermaids, or go and see Amy D. Salt – she’ll tell you all about it. Happy 81st Birthday to Elder Matthew Natachequan! Hugs to Alice, sheedoo!