TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION – Working towards solutions
…some traces are like scars – they take time to heal, and usually always leave a mark
to remind the bearer of a wound. Every now and then it is not unusual to run
your fingers over the scar and trace the outline of it, the raised part that can never fully
disappear, to feel the irregularity. It becomes something you live with, something you
don’t necessarily travel to continually but every now and then rediscover, and remember.
It never leaves you, but becomes a part of you. Some people heal better than others.
Some don’t heal from their wounds. We are all vulnerable in different ways… we either get toughened
up by our scars, or we succumb to them. The human condition is not equal.
The rocks in the photo below come from the beach at Big Bay, a community in the township of Georgian Bluffs, located between Colpoy’s Bay and Owen Sound on Georgian Bay. The round rock to the left is embedded with fossils and thrillingly so were most of the rocks on that beach.
Last year, in mid September, I had the good fortune to spend 4 days with a close friend up in that region of Georgian Bay and marveled at the many overt signs of the passage of time, (11,000 years since the last ice age), to be found either on the rocky beach in fossil form or all along the igneous rock bluffs overhanging the boggy shores of Lake Huron. These bluffs are part of the Canadian Shield‘ which encircles Hudson Bay and spans Eastern, Northeastern and East-Central Canada including the northern portion of upper Midwestern USA.’ (Wikipedia), and is said to be over 3 billion years old.
Coming from Toronto, it took approximately 3 hours to reach our destination of Big Bay.
Without much ado, we headed down to the beach and went for a swim in the pristine and surprisingly bearable early autumn waters of Lake Huron – not a soul was around. The water was incredibly shallow and you had to walk out a long way before getting in a swim. Of special interest were the submerged stones embedded with all sorts of fossils, gleaming in the incredibly clear and still water. It was a geologist’s heaven, a rock collector’s bundle of joy, and we walked along the rocky shore or stood in the lake until our feet went numb, looking for the most perfect specimens. What kind of fossils you might ask? Fish bones, plant life, coral, shells – absolutely awesome!
During those four days, we were able to go for several walks, and took a trail along the Bluffs which is part of the Bruce Trail on the Bruce Peninsula – a paradise for hikers, campers, and outdoor lovers in general. The walk along the bluffs was breathtaking, even scary in spots, and the photos I include can only give you a small taste of what it was like to stand on the edge of some of the oldest rock formations in the world.
As luck would have it we stayed in a very old converted one-room schoolhouse, used as a summer home, owned by a friend, and at night after supper we hunkered down to watch the David Suzuki – CBC documentary “Geologic Journey” which featured the Canadian Shield in one of its episodes. Each night we learned more about Canada’s ancient geology and the history of our continent. What made our walks even more compelling was to be able to go out the door and see for ourselves how the ground we walked on was shaped over time.
I would highly recommend renting or buying this series of documentaries and watching them (with your kids or grandkids). The explanations, interviews and travels with the experts, trips into the bowels of the earth or along the rocky bluffs were excellent and the graphic ‘simulations’ of volcanic eruptions and shifting tectonic plates, etc., are world class. http://www.cbc.ca/geologic/
Even better! Plan a trip to this area next summer and walk the Bruce Trail, or kayak amongst the nearly 30,000 small islands that dot Georgian Bay. It truly is a place of incredible beauty and was a source of great inspiration for Canada’s Group of Seven painters. Once you go there, you’ll understand why.
I will certainly visit again, and the next time it will be to kayak in amongst the islands and camp next to the water on rocky outcroppings. See you there!
Life is cyclical…round and round it goes. You are brought into the world, into a family (if you are lucky) then go on to have a family (perhaps) of your own, who then in turn have a family (perhaps) and so it goes. Lives change, years go by, ‘traditional’ families begin with the coming together of two people, who become parents, then grandparents, great grandparents (if you are lucky!) basically learning the way our ancestors learned before us. Time rolls along, our lives unfolding into the minutes, hours days months and years of our life…when you are young, you never imagine you will grow old. All this is shortlived of course, because once the ball starts rolling, somehow the momentum of life sweeps you up and carries you along, from one decision to the next.