Posted by: Mi’kmaw Moons
HAPPY EQUINOX! Today the Sun moves northward across the celestial equator into the celestial northern hemisphere. There will be equal day and night. Every day, the sunlight increases by 4 minutes. That does not sound like much, but in a week it’s almost half an hour! Longer hours of daylight and a higher Sun means more heat! The Earth is warming up and waking up for another season of growth.
Imagine, outside there is only a little light as the sun is setting below the horizon. You are sitting around a warm fire which is lighting up the face of your Auntie who is sitting across from you. All of a sudden you see a little spark of light dancing around Auntie’s long braid of hair. You smell the fresh cut sweet grass that you picked in the meadow, wrapped up by a sparkling stem. The sweet grass was laid to dry, but the rain from the night before intensifies the sweet smell. You smile as your Auntie braids the sweet grass in 3 sections. This braided hair of Mother Earth reminds you to be kind, honest and live with a heart full of love. Your Auntie lights the sweet grass and the smoke cleanses your mind, body and soul. Everything is calm and there is a sense of peace that surrounds you.
Again you see the little spark of light that flashes on and off. There is light, then dark, and it’s flashing in front of your eyes. The light comes from a firefly. She gives off light and energy, while consuming little from the land on which you rely for survival. You are reminded that this land provides shelter, food, medicine, clothing, transportation, tools, games, and music and you become grateful and aware of all its beauty. The ground feels warmer as the frost is beginning to emerge from the ground.
You recall the time spent removing bark from the birch trees earlier in the day. You know that the shining light of a firefly means that trees are receiving water from the ground, from Mother Earth. The water flows up underneath a thick layer of the birch bark and feeds the leaves that are budding. You remember watching your Mom and Aunties peel the thick layer of bark from the tree. You’re delighted to watch as they find a spruce tree and dig into the ground, exposing the roots that they use to join the bark and transform it into a birch bark canoe. You’re amazed that the sticky spruce gum seals the canoe and allows you to travel with your family along the waterways from your inland winter camp to the coastal areas where you will be reunited with family and friends once again. You are prepared to walk great distances but you also look forward to crossing the lakes and rivers in a birchbark canoe. You ask your father if the birchbark wigwam where you rested your tired head at night will need to be taken down to travel with you to your coastal home. Your father explains that the wigwam will stay there and will be there when the family returns in the Fall. As you and your family make the journey you look forward to the days when you and your Aunties will spend time along the shores of the ocean, collecting shellfish such as mussels, clams, and crab. You are excited to have your community gather together on narrow, upstream places in the river to trap eel and salmon.
You also look forward to nights around the fire where you will listen to more stories of the grey firefly as you are embraced by the beauty of the Grandmother Moon in the sky.
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