Wise and Ancient Voices

By: pattihenderson

Jun 18 2017

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Category: Weekend Adventures

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I love to read. Working in the publishing industry no doubt has fostered and fed this love and I feel fortunate! One of my favourite authors and a very recent discovery is the late author Richard Wagamese. I was so sorry to hear about his recent passing and wish we had the chance to meet in this lifetime. His writing lifts my spirits and touches my soul like no author has in a long, fortunate lifetime of reading great books.

A fellow Ontario transplant to beautiful British Columbia, Richard’s non-fiction writing is my favourite despite loving his best-selling fiction titles like Indian Horse and Medicine Walk. It is his beautiful memoirs like Embers, One Native Life and One Story, One Song that powerfully scrape away at the things that make us most human: struggle, heart-ache, perseverance and joy. The common thread that winds carefully through each of these stories is the deep bond he feels for the natural world and its mysterious power to comfort and to heal. In One Story, One Song he writes:

“Our cabin is nestled in the mountains. At least, that’s how it feels. Living so close to the land, we hear stories in the whisper of the wind through the pines, tales in the patter of rain, legends in the snowfall that comes with the first sharp slice of winter. Mushrooms, ferns, and open surges of granite become connections to a larger spirit. Wise and ancient voices reside in the most common of things.”

Last Sunday I went in search of wise and ancient voices that could whisper quiet words of healing. I was lonely for home and family on this day and felt the need to surround myself in the welcoming arms of Mother Nature. My usual haunt in times like these is the spectacular Lynn Canyon in North Vancouver. Here in this verdant oasis, a laughing river is surrounded by luscious greenery, ancient trees and the very real sense that one is not alone in this heaven on earth. My hike through the winding trail you see above lasted but one hour,  yet when I arrived back home, I felt restored and grateful for the connection I was allowed to make with what Wagamese calls “a larger spirit.” I was acutely aware and gratefully reminded that those who you miss the most are never really gone but reside in your heart, and even in the beautiful world that surrounds us. You just need to be still long enough to listen.