I'm drying my hair upside down in the hotel room; I'm up close and personal with my red toe nails and I notice a scratch on my right leg. It's one of those long rips with white skin frayed on either side of a pink line. Where did that come from? Oh ya. When I was walking home from school yesterday through the Treaty 4 grounds hay field, one of those jumbo, ragged, swathed stalks got me. As I scrunch my hair, I think about scars.
I'm at the Kenosee Inn participating in an Internship Seminar. This afternoon my intern and I have amazing dialogue, considering everything from our personality types to what we believe about education; our fears and hopes; our strengths and weaknesses. Jade shares her best lesson in which she divided the city of Regina in half and then the kids had to negotiate a treaty with each other because each group had different resources. We laugh; we cry; we talk for three hours. We're getting to know each other, clarifying our expectations, bonding, all in preparation to create our own personal contract by Friday.
Back in the hotel room I phone my cousin Angela who will be keeping Arwen for another day. I'm feeling guilty because I've now left Arwen three days with "the cousins" and it wasn't planned, it just sort of happened... the whole it-takes-a-community-to-raise-a-child thing. Except, it seems that the Aunties are doing more of the child raising than I am. Angela and I have set up our own little trade, a contract of sorts. She will do hour-for-hour exchange of housework for guitar, dance, and art lessons for her kids. We have a little book to log our activities. After some good conversation, I tell her she should log some of these "extra" babysitting hours as part of our exchange.
I go for a walk before supper and find some chokecherries right outside the side of the inn. They are juicy and I eat a handful, spitting out the seeds as I walk down the hill, take a right into the woods, then find a path that leads out to the water. This Treaty 4 land at Kenosee has a smell all it's own: humid, sweet, earthy. I remember this smell from bible camp across the lake from the inn. In Fort Qu'Appelle we have a lot of aspen trees, but here I just love the whiter birch trees. Down by the lake the water is higher than I remember and I get some great shots of the reeds against the water against the distant hills. The day is now sunny, but still hazy from the morning's mist and rain. I am conscious of the fact that this treaty walking is heightening my senses. I see the purple flowers at the foot of the white birch. I hear the wind and birds. I smell the moss. I taste the bitter-afterness of chokecherry. I touch the rough bark of a fallen log.
As I type in the hotel room, thunder rumbles and lightening flashes.