‘Moving on is simple, it’s what you leave behind that makes it so difficult… .’ – Author unknown.
’Indifference may not wreck a man’s life at any one turn, but it will destroy him with a kind of dry-rot in the long run.’ – Bliss Carman.
Merrickville is a small town with a growing arts community on the Rideau River in Eastern Ontario. In front of the post office there is a bulletin board with a roof to keep rain and snow at bay. Along the top of the roof, beneath overhanging trees, these small metal scultures appear.
“I frequently tramped eight or ten miles through the deepest snow to keep an appointment with a beech-tree, or a yellow birch, or an old acquaintance among the pines.” – Henry David Thoreau.
‘Winter is the time for comfort – it is the time for home.’- Edith Sitwell.
“To those people in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required — not because the Communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.” – John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961. (Photo of wall mural at the JFK Presidential Library in Boston)
Notre Dame Basilica, Montreal.
“Wilderness is a necessity … There must be places for human beings to satisfy their souls.” – John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club.
“Along the river clear and blue
past that old cabin in the sun.”
Poetry – Thanksgiving
From the 1870s to the 1970s, more than 150,000 children were taken from Aboriginal families and placed in residential schools – run by the Roman Catholic, Anglican and United churches and funded by the government of Canada. The purpose was to force the assimilation of native culture into white society by “killing the Indian in the child.” The children were deprived of their culture, educated in English and French and “converted” to Christianity. Many lived in substandard conditions and endured horrific mental, physical and sexual abuse by clergy, teachers and staff. Almost half died, some of disease, some of malnutrition, some medicated to death for resisting their captors. Others were murdered to dispose of unwanted infants and to prevent complaints by young women who were raped by their guardians. Thousands were buried in unmarked graves. The last residential school did not close until 1996. The Canadian government formally apologized in 2008. “The treatment of children in Indian residential schools is a sad chapter in our history,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper told the House of Commons. “The government of Canada sincerely apologizes and asks the forgiveness of the Aboriginal peoples of this country for failing them so profoundly.” Phil Fontaine, leader of the Assembly of First Nations and a survivor of the residential school system, accepted the apology on behalf of all victims. “Memories of residential schools cut like merciless knives at our souls,” Fontaine said. — Poetry – In the name of the father.