Just returned from one extremely magical week off grid with a small group of us who are learning our language. No bathrooms, no wifi, no telephones, no water running from taps & no docks to unload onto. Something extremely magical about returning to the land this way, with zero interruptions. It made living the language that much louder in all that silence. Presence, such a gift.
Grandpa picked us up in his finest limo, oh how I loved his home. HOOKSUM, Where his only neighbours he has are the salmon that swim up the river, the bears that visit that river & the killer whales that randomly stop in to also snack on the salmon. Wow, I felt my heart beating being there. Very much alive, present, calm, collected & peaceful. There were no million lists running through my head, I felt no need to rush anywhere and was simply being. After all we all called human beings, not human 'doings'.
My grandfather runs a camp in the summer for youth, called Hooksum Outdoor School.
Off grid far away from it all, a place where one goes & rediscovers ones self. Exactly what I needed.
A week with two soft, kind, funny, Nuuchahnulth speakers, on the land, with a few others who've made it their priority to keep this language alive. OH MY GOD, just leave me here forever. Nothing more magical than this for me, fires crackling, stories shared in Nuuchanulth & traditional teachings.
BLISS, pure bliss.
It's an amazing feeling to only say yes to things that fuel you spiritually. To sit in circle with no one staring at a phone or a screen, where everyone is fully present. That's a rare in today's world and such a simple gift. Time & presence, when together, ooooooo AND dare to add silence, that's what I call connection!
When it’s back to school & you take your kids out for a week to their ancestral lands, to surround them with their traditional teachings & our living languages, that’s what we call teaching & learning. .
At first we thought about not going because of school, but we’re 💯 certain that the experiences & teachings they were exposed to here will take them further & deeper than those few missed classes.
So grateful to have friends raising their families with the same values. Slight rebels, just keeping alive a language we should have been born speaking.
It rained pretty much the entire week there, but when you inside a cozy traditional long house, sitting by the fire, surrounded by family, listening to elders share legends in our language, that’s no storm in our hearts. .
We paddled in the rain, my friend singing her kakawin song in the language, our elder paddling along side us & our friends just behind us kayaking. I had just asked what our word for magical was when this huge splash crashed right behind us. I see this what I thought was a seal thrown up into the sky & immediately thought, “National Geographic, not today! My cards are full, my batteries have died, I don’t have my right camera or lens & I’m too scared to document THIS!”. .
It was a breaching momma orca & two brand new babies dancing in thin air! Our elder on one side of us in canoe, our friends in kayaks on other side & this kakawin family in the middle of us, modelling, showing off their salmon dinner that we were dreaming of.
It was THE most surreal thing I’ve ever witnessed! The power of nature, that spiritual & very sacred connection took my breathe away. So of course I didn’t want to come back to civilization, cyber, people, phones & english!
Storms, rain, & clouds, the kids were on the beach the entire time. Laughing, making up their own games. Using their imaginations & semi interested in capturing light though lenses (photography).
In between the fires, storms, stories and songs were silent moments, staring off into dancing skies.
If I had a favourite phrase from the week, this was it.
Wiki ʔukʷačił haptaa ~ Don't hide from yourself.
So many wearing masks, covering up with noise, hiding from their pain, fear of being alone & fear of feeling.
Being in these sacred places, ancestral lands, felt natural to return to nature.
ʔušy̓aksiiƛeic to my friend, who is really my auntie but I call her tluutsma (women) for inviting us to your home lands & sharing such precious gifts with us. For being such an inspiration, for speaking, teaching, learning, sharing & living our language. I envision being an elder one day sharing crazy stories in the language with her, just as our grandmothers did with each other.
If you still reading and STILL interested, you deserve some kind of special prize but I'm a minimalist wanna be so here are just some samples of my amateur video making skills. I know, I need one of those fancy balancing things that DJI makes & a course in documentary filming :)
Part of me wants to apologize for this long post BUT I won't. It's just me in love with everything that makes us who we are as brown beautiful beings.