Mid way down my lane, I notice a couple poplar leaves are quivering. I stop. Is it the wind? No. The other leaves would be shaking, too. Maybe those leaves are about to fall, I think. A leaf twists to the ground in front of me. I'd love to catch the moment a leaf detaches from the branch. The little leaf is shaking again.
Before I leave the trees I hear geese without really hearing them, like I've been hearing geese from my bedroom open window and hearing them on the lake. They honk into my awareness and I look up. Oh, oh. There's so many. Get the camera. They're so high. The camera won't open. They're getting away. Now the trees are blocking their V formations. Farther and farther. I snap a shot.
The hill's yellow leaves are catching the rising sun's rays. The poetry "As long as the grass grows, the sun shines and the river flows" fills my mind with light. Who wrote that? I know it's treaty teaching, but whose words are they? I envision the picture at the bridge, in a variety of seasons, with the word, "Canada," across the top, and "As long as the grass grows, the sun shines, the river flows" scrawled across the bottom. Letting beauty do the teaching.
Or what about my picture of the beaded mini-mouse, baby moccasins with the slogan, "Adaptability: As long as the grass grows, the sun shines, and the river flows."
Or the four flags in the wind, Treaty 4, Saskatchewan, British, and Canadian with the caption, "Treaty: As long as the grass grows, the sun shines, and the river flows."
Words fly around my brain like honking geese: kinship, respect, unity, obedience, ultimate protection and I try out the three part poetry with each one. I image different pictures. Imagine them hanging around Fort Qu'Appelle offices, subtly speaking their treaty talk.
I try another word on for size, but this time new images flow, and I like being surprised. I play these words around as my feet make tracks in the gravel, then take grip on the pavement by the Treaty 4 Smoke Shop.
As long as the grass shines, the sun flows, the river grows
As long as the sun grows, the grass flows, and the river shines
As long as the river knows, the grass shows, and the sun rhymes
I'm past the cement yard and now I'm visioning mugs with treaty walks pictures and captions. And now I'm drinking coffee and leaving the mugs in trees to pick up on my way home. I'm taking a picture of a mug hanging in a tree with a picture of a mug hanging in a tree.
I'm crossing the railway track and slowly my daydream fades into plans for the upcoming day. I have assessments to finish. I have essays, stories, and tests to mark. At my back the leaves are falling; the geese are flying West, not south; the grass is singing; the sun is dancing; the river is smiling. I open the back door and say good morning to a student in the hallway.