Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Day One: Settling for Chokecherries

I lay in bed last night dreaming of my morning adventures. I remembered  hearing that treaties were more than just agreements or contracts, they were sacred. I contemplated sacredness, the things we hold holy, like marriage and motherhood. I lay in bed, imagining the insights I'd have to write about after my walking. I got up, had a bath. Lay back down. Kept writing in my head.

I woke up late. Arwen jumped out of bed as soon as I called her. We packed our things and hit the road. I drank my coffee walking down the lane and then left the mug in the trees. I took pictures: chokecherries hanging over the road; caterpillar on the gravel; ski hill with bales of hay; Governance Centre in the sunlight; Treaty 4 Grounds bleachers; flags hanging limp over the All Nations Healing Hospital; flowers; sage; thistles.

I looked at my watch. I was going to be late if I didn't pick up my pace. This was my intern's first day and I didn't want her arriving without a welcome. My knee was hurting. I had acupuncture two days before because I'd blown the knee playing slow pitch in July. I suggested we take a short cut over the railway tracks and highway, directly to the school. Arwen said, "But I'm wearing flip flops." I said, "Next time you do this with me, you're wearing runners." I took my jacket off, tied it around my waist, and picked up the pace for the long way. After crossing the highway, I phoned my cousin and Arwen biked right to her house. I walked into the school parking lot just as my intern pulled up in her car.

I was sweaty and a little achy. The sun grew stronger through meetings and set up planning. By 4:00 it was a hot, dusty summer's day and I had to walk home. Arwen was at the beach with the cousins, so I set off cross country, through our football field, over the highway (think I got honked at by a car way far away), and at the railway track I stopped and took a picture of the long rails, then I picked three rose hips and ate their outer vitamin C skin. I snapped shots of those rose hips, sage and pretty soon it was a full out photo shoot leading me into the Coop gas lot.

Cars whizzed past me, mostly leaving the Governance Centre and Parkland College. Got quite a few smiles. Met one other woman on foot at the hospital while I was taking pictures into the sun of the four flags whipping in the wind: Maple Leaf, Union Jack, Saskatchewan, and the Treaty 4 flag (I think.) "Nice day," I said. "Sure is," she said. There were some folks setting up a huge red and white tent at the Treaty 4 grounds. I think it's for a Christian tent meeting. There were some boys on the other side of the field and as I took a short cut across the field toward them, I realized they were lighting a firecracker. About ten minutes from home, the cousins honked and waved, bringing Arwen home. I pulled chokecherries off the trees and mushed them in my mouth, spitting out the seeds.

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