Sunday, July 8, 2012
...A Good Journey...
On the way home from the movies the other night I asked my bro if he was up for going down to the water to drop tobacco and pray. We had learned earlier in the evening of the passing of Rose Point and decided to go see a light-hearted fillem to perhaps take our minds off the news. He agreed to stop by his place allowing me to fetch the medicine I had stashed there and we proceeded to make our way to the ocean-side despite the late hour and persistent rain. It felt important to pray and make modest ceremony to honor the late and beloved elder. A tireless advocate for educating our people in all ways you could think of (not merely the formal education one may think of first). At the prayer/memorial Thursday evening down in Musqueam it became apparent how formidable she was and how easy it may have been to underestimate this tiny bundle of beautiful energy. As was frequently mentioned, Rose was EVERYWHERE. Every event for every conceivable reason, political or artistic, and everything in between, she was always there and as anyone who knows what a hike it was just get out of Musqueam, a certain type of determination was implicit in everything Rose did.
I carry my own special experience because I lived next door to the elder at Musqueam reserve for a couple years (renting a room from her son) and was able to spend many hours with her in her home. She learned how to cook Chinese food in a class and was proud of this skill and it did not take much convincing to get her to whip us up some good vittles, it was a source of well-earned pride. It just never occurred to me coming out to the coast, me, - a plains Cree man being served gourmet Chinese dishes from this sweet little old Coast Salish Lady. But I will cherish most our long talks about her life. Ours was a very easy-going and informal relationship and I dare-say I was given special insight into some of her most intimate and profound personal views. Our exchange was of a sort that this week, though I went down to Musqueam to pay respects and support the family, I find myself glad for Rose because she knew some things and someone were waiting for her in the next part of the journey. I will miss her but I cannot think of loss, or any connotations of that sort. I am simply in a place of gratitude because she worked so hard, touched so many and I got to know her a little bit. If each of us did a fraction of what Rose did in her lifetime, what a world it would be. What a world it is to be able to experience such people.
A good journey, Rose, and thanks.
© 2012 Champsteen Publishing