Monday, March 19, 2012

Celebrating the Spring Solstice

By now most of you would have heard that Winnipeg is seeing record temperatures for the last week and many parts of the province have shattered previous temperature records - some of them more than 100 years old. Today I went out for my first spring walk - in a glorious 23C (that's 74F). It's wonderful that the day before spring feels like a perfect summer day.

I walked for almost an hour in the cemetery near the college and there were dozens of geese probably looking for a nesting place close to Omand Creek which runs through the cemetery. It was so peaceful and the air smelled so fresh. I am looking forward to a great summer - if only the weather can stay this perfect. Last summer it was very hot - so hot in fact - that we had no mosquitoes all summer. We gave up watering the grass so it looked parched and thirsty but we watered the vegetable and flower garden including about 20 hanging baskets so they looked beautiful all summer.  It was probably not a good idea not to have watered the grass because by the time we were cleaning up during fall, the evergreens were looking like everbrowns. There was obviously not enough moisture to keep them green so this summer I won't make the same mistake.

Tomorrow the Indigenous Education department is holding a pipe ceremony in celebration of the Spring Solstice and at lunch time, there's a feast. Last week I attended a Smudge. It's very similar to what Hindus do at the start of the day (Dhar) and at the start of a religious ceremony. The week before I attended a exhibition of Inuit Art which was also very interesting. While I am waiting for my dissertation exam (April 4), I'm spending time my time doing learning of a different kind. Tomorrow night I am going to attend a presentation by survivors of Canadian residential school - part of the interim report of Truth and Reconciliation Commission led by Justice Murray Sinclair. This is a part of the history of Canada that had very tragic consequences for many First Nations people who are still suffering the long term effects. 

I started this post by wanting to celebrate the arrival of Spring and in a way, tomorrow night will be a celebration for those people who survived and are now willing to share their stories. Hopefully this will be a new beginning.



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