Thursday, May 24, 2012

Day One Hundred Seventy Three: Ribbon of Union Jack

Michael is awake beside me, has been in and out of bed all night. At five he has tried to fall asleep again, but he can't. He decides to get up for the day, get some work done. I'm awake now, too. So I get up. I do some housework, make coffee, check emails and decide to go to school super early to get ready for interim reports tomorrow.

The road is wet, wet as I squish sand and gravel under my runners. The air has been scrubbed clean with rain. Under my feet are worms, and I'm stepping around them continually. A bird smorgasbord, all you can eat worms, I think. On the camera I see I'm low on picture space. I snap conservatively.

I'm past the Governance Centre, past the All Nations Healing Hospital, the four flags flying free, and I'm almost at the cement yard when I gasp, hold my hands over my mouth. Sue had asked me if she could walk with me this morning, from my house, at seven-thirty. It's around seven, and here I am over half-way to school.

What to do? If I walk back home I've wasted my extra-hour of school work. If I go to school, I've missed out on talking with Sue, and she's such an encouragement. If I had my cell phone, I'd try catching her, but my phone has stopped working, and that's the only place I have Sue's number anyway. Even if I hurried to school, I'd likely miss catching her before she could leave home. I turn around and start walking for home, slowly. I pray, God, give me lots of good energy to finish my interim reports either tonight or Friday morning.

I've never walked home on this road at seven in the morning. I feel like I've just been given a free pass somewhere new, a surprise adventure. I walk slowly, breathing the floral air. It's like a snow day in the spring.

I am at the hospital, walking along the left side of the road when I see something rained into the ground like a long ribbon. I pull at the soaking silk and it is almost stuck in the sand. As I hold it up, I recognize the colouring: red, blue, white. I look up at the flags. It's a wind-torn strip off the Union Jack. Here's my ticket to adventure, to a story waiting to be told.

My pace slows even more as I cross the bridge toward home, pass the Governance Centre toward home, but at the pow wow grounds, I hear a car behind me. I see it's Sue. She has a wide smile to match mine and she rolls her window down. I confess my forgetfulness; she apologizes for not reminding me; I assure her I could have forgotten just as easily with a reminder; she is touched that I turned back for her; I show her the ribbon of Union Jack; she says, "I can't wait to see what you do with that." djdjdj

She parks her car on the grassy turn-off to the Treaty Four grounds. We turn around and continue our treaty walk.

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