Friends, as the saying goes, travel is the best education.
My last column for News/North had to do with a way to create a business for yourself, using your local culture and the natural curiosity of tourists who come to the North. But the lessons from travel don’t only include how to make your own life more manageable. It can also include healing, if you let it.
While on a short visit to France on my way back to Canada, I brought up these severe pains in my left knee, to my hosts, Rainer and his wife, Martine.
She being a novice seer, offered to try her skills, to at least find out what the situation was.
I sat on a wooden chair, eyes closed, as she began the ceremony.
Upon their visit to Canada last summer, I met them at the Great Northern Arts Festival in Inuvik and passed along a braid of sweetgrass, which she now lit, imbuing the living room of their big log home high in the French Alps with its rich, sweet aroma.
Sitting calmly, I could hear the ringing sound of the lady’s well-made hand drum close up.
In the middle of various motions to go with trying to find out what the problem was, Martine abruptly left, returning with a beaded golden eagle feather I had given them the day before, upon my arrival. It had hung on one of the logs of their splendid home, now snowed in for several days.
Seeing this sacred paraphernalia, I immediately sensed the presence of my late-mother, for whom I had originally made it.
She had requested such an item, which I’d taken to put together, but died before I could present it. It spent a year at the community of Radilih Koe, Fort Good Hope’s graveyard, before I simply retrieved it, thinking to find it a home somewhere.
Now its calming spell assured me that something would work with this lady’s healing work.
After she got done with the rest of the ceremony, she explained that my late mother’s spirit had instructed her to use the feather to help in my recovery.
She having found that the problem is more than simply as sore knee, there are two more of these ceremonies to go.
Our late-mom always told us to give things away, since you can’t take it with you. Following her wise words, I am at least assured that a simple act of kindness can lead to a better life.
Mahsi, thank you.