This morning I woke early, my body still on Ottawa time. At 4 a.m., there was a little light, enough to see a weasel pause for a moment on the rose canes surrounding the window beside my bed. When I first saw movement, I thought it must be a bird but then the silhouette was unmistakable. On Monday morning we had the pleasure of seeing the Canadian History Hall at the Canadian Museum of History in the company of our son Forrest who worked on the galleries, researching and designing exhibits. I’d heard about many of the stories and ideas he’d helped to bring to life but seeing the final project was wonderful. We spent two hours and will have to return (many times) to spend enough time to really see the whole Hall as it deserves to be experienced.
But the weasel. In the first light of morning I remembered the case of small ivory animals from the Dorset culture (700-2500 years ago). When I looked at the beautiful little creatures, possibly amulets, I cried. Each one carved so carefully, each one animating the ivory with the spirit of the animal it represented. My favourites were the weasel and the pair of swans:
And the other moment when I cried was seeing this moment from a bison hunt in what’s now Alberta, preserved forever:
At home now, remembering a week with Forrest, Manon, and Arthur, I am sorting through photographs, maps (because John and I spent a couple of days in the Eastern Townships and we are too old to use GPS, so there are paper maps to smooth and file…), bits and pieces from my pack and case (a pottery dish from Lisa McNeill in Magog, now hanging on my kitchen wall; a bag of dried chanterelles from the Byward Market). And am about to set a new image on my desktop, three generations walking into the light: