I am so enjoying these illuminations—stories behind the rituals. Thank you. I, too, enjoyed the resurrection of the birch canoe.

A sprout: when I was 18, I led a group of younger teens through 350 miles of Quebec “wilderness” in wood canvas canoes. I put quotations around “wilderness” because it was the territory of First Nation peoples, tribes of Cree—Montagnais and Naskapi. We would come upon signs of them (skeletons of old huts; a sturgeon caught in a net (broken free by the thrashing of the 6-foot fish now exhausted and near death); wood piles, old empty cans of.oil or food.) but the most magical was a grove of birches, all once well- tended, brush removed, grass. The trees straight, healthy. And there in the center were several scarred pines, a fire pit, several rusted pots and frames for setting the canoes. (Hard to explain.) All of this had not been used for 20, 30 years. And as we realized that, realized that canoes and boats were bought now, not made, we felt sad. Like a way of life, of doing things had ended. Or, fell out of balance.


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May 30, 2022Liked by Jonathan J. Harris

Magical ritual - Love this - thank you for sharing.

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