Friday, 7 October 2016

A new sunrise

With the dog stirring to say it was time for his morning nature break, I roused myself from sleep. It was a couple of days after moving in to our home in Keswick and our things were still in suitcases and boxes (to be honest many still are). Moving can be very stressful. Nothing is familiar. You can't find anything. You're missing what used to be home, maybe even questioning the decision to relocate in the first place.

With all of these feelings in the background I got out of bed and my mouth dropped open. The sky was a picture of grey clouds and streaks of orange and yellow. It was a brand new sunrise as pretty as any I'd seen in the last 24 years in the West. Everything was going to be okay.

I should have known. I was told as much on a walk in Fogo Island, NL. Glen and I were touring as part of our visit for the 85th birthday of my Nan-in-law. There is a herd of caribou on Fogo and in the hope of seeing some we set out along the coast following a hearty breakfast at the B'n'B.

We wandered along the shore, over a stream, through a grove of trees, across open field, up and down rocky hills, skirting bog. We walked and walked but no caribou was to be seen. But along the way I saw beautiful wildflowers in the foreground of stunning ocean vistas. We were visited by a pair of ravens and a robin. I noticed berries in the undergrowth and as we headed back toward the car we passed several bushes of labrador tea, a traditional medicine I was taught to use by my OjiCree friends in St. Theresa Point.

As I looked about me a voice welled up from within. "Everything you need is here." I recalled an elder teaching me that Creator gives us everything we need to survive. We need to be attentive to the environment, to learn what can be foraged, which plants are medicines, how best to hunt the animals of the area. "Everything you need is here."

I realized that my move to Ontario would be okay. The resources we'd need would be at hand. We'd meet the people who would offer us wisdom. We'd nurture new relationships and forge new ministry partnerships. And we shouldn't discount the personal gifts we were bringing. I may be disoriented for a time but we'd be more than okay.

In these first few days it's become clear that the message I received on that Newfoundland walk is true. We've been welcomed with warmth and enthusiasm. There are lots of people who are eager to offer their gifts in our shared ministry. Ideas and insights are bubbling up within me. A new day has clearly dawned.

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