Despite all attempts to erase her name and memory, much of her constructions, relics and artifacts- like her jewellery, still exist (made by her jewellers, though claimed to be that of following rulers, a common practice of inheritance and even grave-robbing by secret royal orders- or royals claiming greatness by falsely putting their name on more ancient structures like Pharaoh Kufu-Cheops- blatantly false claims to the Pyramids.) Even today, Hatshepsut’s love poems written to and with Solomon (called The Songs of Solomon) still exist, though confusingly interpreted now as ‘Holy Scripture’. Well, ‘everything is the meaning we give it’.
This Pharaoh/Queen Hatshepsut, chosen by her Father and fully Initiated, ruled Upper and Lower Egypt, Nubia, Ethiopia, a part of the Arabian Peninsula called Saba (Sheba)…and other Tribute Lands, trading extensively throughout the surrounding areas. She travelled to ‘Punt’, the Egyptian name for ‘the Holy Land, with exotic ‘gifts’- a ‘trade mission’- bringing her ‘entourage’ of highly skilled people, including Architects. Punt, ‘the Holy Land’, had also grown wealthy due to King Solomon’s ‘Wisdom’, his ‘Connections’, through several foreign marriages- alignments to foreign ruling families, and his Business Connections with Hiram of Tyre who owned a fleet of ships profitably transporting cargo between countries.
King Solomon was not as wealthy or powerful as Pharaoh/Queen Hatshepsut but was considered by her and her advisors as a suitable partner for a royal marriage, offspring and trade connections. All of this infuriated his powerful priests, his court and many others, as with the powerful families and priests- those power structures- of her lands. Yes, all of this became ‘translated’ into the supposed Anger of God in ‘the Holy Land’ and the Anger of the ‘Gods’ in Egypt. It became a mystery for scholars to ponder for centuries, for others to create myths or tamper with evidence and dates, and for tourist guides to repeat like gossip for a pay-check.
There’s ‘nothing new under the sun’ where Competing Powers are concerned, though most of us ‘don’t give a hoot’ unless we’re personally impacted. Many were, many still are…
In the Medicine Wheel, the Moose is my Totem Animal in the East. I am a ‘white woman’ now but have lived several Indigenous lives with loved ones on this North American continent, both in male and female forms. (It’s fine if you don’t believe that.)
Mother Nature has gifted me with many sightings and encounters with Moose throughout my years when living in Northeastern Ontario. I am deeply grateful for having those experiences.
Great To Be Alive…
Some years ago, my Husband, Roger, and I journeyed to the Lady Evelyn and Smoothwater Lakes by canoe, having entered the winding access river off of the Beauty Lake Road.
I was filled with thoughts about ‘timing’ just before our little electric motor died, then later after a portage in rough waters, my paddle split down the middle of the bottom half. It happened at the mouth of Smoothwater, a crystal clear lake renowned for sudden high waves and drownings. The wind was threatening and against us so we paddled closer to shore. It suited my mood and the desire to live a solitary life once the children were out of the nest.
When we stopped to pitch tent on a beach, I went to gather sticks for our fire. Some distance away from camp, with my aching arms full, I stood quietly looking at my beautiful, wild surroundings. I was overcome with a wonderful feeling of how great it was to be alive. My concerns and worries dissolved in those few minutes of contemplation.
Just as I returned to camp, Roger and I heard a very loud, crashing sound. There, on the very spot of the shoreline where I had just stood, a Bull Moose appeared as if running for its life, went straight into the water and swam as fast as it could toward the distant shore. He was a magnificent sight to behold.
Then, just moments later, a large Grey Wolf appeared on that very same spot. It watched the Moose intently, hungry and having lost its prey. Then it turned to stare directly at us. That stare pierced my mind and heart. I, truly, felt the Call of the Wild.
What a thrill and honour to see both of these amazing creatures!!
Moose In Paradise…
Years ago, my Dad, Aunt and Uncle and I went on a day trip fishing in Dad’s 12 foot aluminum boat. It was another of several of my journeys into the Lady Evelyn, Dufferin and Smoothwater Lakes where I often saw Moose, Bears and many species of wildlife. My Uncle remarked that it looked as if I’d just entered into Paradise.
On that particular day, my Aunt and I encountered a towering Bull Moose with a heavy rack just a few short yards from our path. We all stopped suddenly. My Aunt, Helen, pulled out her belted knife and I said softly, “Please put that away and don’t move.”
The Moose stood staunchly appraising us for several minutes, then turned back, trustingly, into the bush. We sighed with relief. Then I chuckled with great respect for my wonderful Totem Animal of the East.
Saved By A Moose…
During my late teens, I had another memorable experience with a formidable Bull Moose. To this day, I believe that creature of Mother Nature was Heaven-sent to save me from a potential rape when I prayed for help.
A young man who was dating my cousin in Southern Ontario made a surprise visit to my family home one summer day. He wanted me to take him for a day of fishing. Dad suggested I take him to Lone Wolf Lake, north, towards the Arctic Watershed sign.
I recall the strange thought, ‘I’ll give him a memory he won’t soon forget,’ then wondered why I’d thought that thought.
Off we went on our adventure.
It was a hot, sunny day with swarms of mosquitoes and blackflies all around us as we threw our baited lines into the water. Within minutes, I discovered that I was the bait. Our visitor gave me a ravenous, unwelcomed kiss. I said to the mosquitoes and blackflies, “Oh, oh! What next!” When I looked deep into his eyes, I saw he was being tempted to rape me. I must have made a desperate mental call, a prayer to God, to Mother Nature, to the Angels, because just then a gigantic Bull Moose came charging out of the bush and stood very close to where we were. I had the sudden instinct to drop my fishing rod and run towards the Moose. He turned swiftly and headed back into the bush running, with me chasing after him, unarmed, like a crazy, wild woman. I had a distinctly wolfish, predatory feeling all through this strange experience. The southern visitor began chasing after me too but was slow to catch up. Then the strange feeling passed and I finally stopped, leaving that blessed Moose to its solitary run deeper into the wilderness.
My visitor caught up. He had a frightened, sheepish look in his eyes now. I said, “It’s time to leave.” We didn’t talk on the way back to Kirkland Lake and I heard he headed back south immediately.
I didn’t speak of this experience for many years but chuckled to myself whenever it came to mind. In a family of Moose Hunters, I was saved by a Moose…
(True stories of Northeastern Ontario retold November 2, 2021)
“You are being cunningly deceived” said the sly fox with the cunning smile. I silently laid the Russian Gypsy divining cards down and wondered…
Mother Nature had gifted me with many surprises of beautiful foxes appearing in my life. I always welcomed them with love and gratitude whenever they appeared. There was the curious, friendly fox at Round Lake, the patient red fox that waited at the edge of the road by Kenogami Lake as Roger and I approached in our car, the very large and different (Arctic?) fox who sat quietly as I picked blueberries near the Esker Park lakes, and other foxes too… I felt thrilled and honoured to see them.
I wondered what the cards of the fox were trying to tell me as I put the deck of cards away. I kept this all to myself.
The following evening, my young teenage son, Aaron, returned home, wide-eyed and breathless. He said, “Mom, you won’t believe this, but a fox just followed ma as I was walking home… all the way from downtown to here!”
I looked at him with a motherly, sly smile and asked, “Do you have something to tell me, son?” He hesitated but a few minutes later reluctantly revealed that he’d been smoking cigarettes with his friends. I almost laughed, remembering the peer pressure to smoke that I also experienced at about his age. My friend’s Grandmother caught us smoking in her shed. She’d seen clouds of smoke coming out of the shed and thought it was on fire. Then my Mother found a smelly cigarette butt in my coat pocket.I think my sickly green face gave me away, despite the fact that I’d grown up with clouds of cigarette smoke in our family home every day. A few years later when sitting with another friend in a restaurant, both smoking to pretend that it made us look ‘glamorous’, my friend said, “You look ridiculous! You don’t even know how to hold that cigarette!” I looked at her, thought a few seconds, then said, “You know, you’re right!” I crushed my cigarette out and that was the end of it for me. She continued to pay for the addiction for years and I often thought of her words with gratitude.
So, Aaron stood before me, clearly expecting to be ‘grounded’ and, worse still, not be allowed to play basketball at the school in the evenings for a while. I didn’t add a strict punishment to those feelings I understood and read so clearly on his face. Back then, our home was a ‘smoke free’ zone. My husband, Roger, smoked outside in all weather. Doing that was a rarity in those days. Our daughter, Alissa, had asthma. Anywhere near any cigarette smoke in the air, since she was a toddler especially, her physical reaction would mean going immediately to the Emergency Room of a nearby Hospital. Smoking was then a ‘life and death’ situation.
There was no parental reprimand to Aaron that night. I just spoke softly. “Please don’t smoke around here, son”, and left him to learn from his choices. There’s a fine line between parental guidance and parental tyranny.
Then I silently thanked Mother Nature and her Fox who had cunningly revealed a secret to me.
(A true story from Englehart, Ontario and retold in Victoria, BC- November 2, 2021)
Mother Nature has gifted my family and I with many cherished memories through the years, often presented as pleasant surprises.
It was Canada Day, July 1st. My husband, Roger, and I decided to bring our two less-than-enthusiastic, pre-teen children, Alissa and Aaron, on a day trip of boating and fishing with our aluminum boat and outboard motor. We drove to an access point near Matachewan on the Montreal River. It’s a 220 km (137 mi) long tributary, with its own tributaries, of the Ottawa River stretching another 1,271 km (790 mi).
There, we loaded the boat with all the essentials , including the children.
It was a long ride to our destination during which Roger manned the outboard motor, I watched for the thrills of seeing wildlife and potential hazards, while the children watched the water- the waves, the ripples, the sprays- and the sky- the passing clouds in the bright sunlight, the birds flying by- and the shoreline of rugged Northeastern Ontario trees, shrubs, rocks and driftwood, all of which lulled them to sleep. While Roger and I were mapping, they were napping.
Part of our journey included a challenging portage. We all had to get out of the boat and slowly winch it up, with our gear and heavy motor, using a vintage winch pulley kept there to aid travel up the overland incline. It was a strenuous, exhausting task made more uncomfortable with the hot temperature, mosquitoes and blackflies. Like explorers and pioneers, we were on our determined way again.
Finally, we reached our chosen spot for fishing. Baited lines were all thrown in the water, not caring whether we actually caught any fish. The time of day, hot temperature and cooked bait were ignored as minor details. I recall that we were all focused on the contents of our cooler more than anything else.
Once satiated, we all drifted into silent reflection on our surroundings. That’s when Canada’s Totem Animal, a Beaver, swam up close to our boat, then loudly slapped its tail on the water. Some folks would say it was the Beaver’s territorial warning but we called it “The Canada Day Salute”.
It was Christmas. Our little town in Northeastern Ontario had been gifted with another heavy snowfall. Fresh snow sparkled through the windows of our ‘doll house’ home. The beautiful white pine and shrubs of our garden all glittered like a Christmas card sent from the Heavens.
Inside, we enjoyed the colourful sight of hand-crafted ornaments on the Christmas tree and a bounty of holiday gifts beneath it. Our young children, Alissa and Aaron, played carefree games in the living-room as my husband, Roger, and I prepared dinner in the kitchen. Music drifted through the rooms in wave after wave of carols: ‘Silent Night’, ‘The Holly and The Ivy’, ‘Deck The Halls’ and another favourite- the countdown carol ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ our children loved to sing along with…”and a Partridge in a pear tree”…
The children’s excitement intensified that memorable day with the priceless gift of a very special visit. A glance outside had revealed the presence of a Partridge perched on our cherished crab-apple tree beside the dining-room window. Roger and I rushed into the room to watch this unusual sight. There was our own version of a Christmas carol come to life!
The plump bird didn’t seem to mind us watching it dine on the tiny crab-apples still clinging to the dormant tree. We were all so amused to see how much its heavy weight bent the branch it sat upon.
I recall wondering how this solitary Partridge could be so stout given the frozen state of the wilderness near our home. I also remember wondering how this naturally ‘shy’ bird found its way to our street and our house and tree with such perfect timing. How we loved Nature’s wondrous presence and presents!
I am still filled with thoughts and feelings of gratitude and wonder to this very day.
When our two children were ‘wee folk’, my family had a special visit one magical Easter morning.
That day, the snow was still about 5 comforters thick on the garden and surrounding ground where we lived in a cozy, two-storey ‘doll house’ in Northeastern Ontario.
As I drew back the heavy curtains covering our large living-room windows, I delighted to see the snow sparkling brightly in the morning light. White lattice panel inserts added ‘old world’ charm to view through those modern windows.
Laughter filled the house. Alissa and Aaron were up early that morning to hunt for the Easter Bunny gifts of sweet chocolate eggs hidden in, under and around so many objects in every room. Soon, little hands and faces were smeared with chocolate happiness.
Looking out the window, we discovered a wondrous, timely sight. There, in the freshly fallen snow were the distinctive tracks of a ‘Bunny’ who had sometime earlier hopped out of the nearby wilderness, then crossed the frozen garden to stop directly in front of our window. The tracks then turned back in the direction of the wilderness. Why it went to that spot was not evident. A delicious little mystery to savour…
If there’d been any doubt as to their Easter chocolate benefactor, it melted away as the children peered out at those clearly unmistakeable tracks.
A little voice said, “How did it get inside, Mommy?”
“That’s a secret,” I said with a chuckle as my husband chuckled too.
It was Snowing when I decided to go for a walk last Saturday, the day before Valentine’s Day. I had just written my poem, A Single Snowflake, before 8a.m. that morning, and walked with the words still fresh in my mind.
Moving through this rare Snowfall here, it felt like I was walking through my poem.
It was shortly after 11a.m. when I came upon the painted Heart on a sidewalk grate. (Perhaps that’s not the technical term for it but I was feeling grateful to see it, so ‘grate’ it is for me.)
The Heart looked like a Valentine card with its ‘target’ Heart and sliding boot print ‘arrow’. Seizing the moment, I pulled off my mitten and used my cell phone camera to record my delight.
The funny thing is that I didn’t take a good look at the photo until I was about to post and share it through my favourite websites the next day, Valentine’s Day.
There it was, a little fuzzy but unmistakable Snowflake in the air. I wonder if it landed on or near the ‘target’ on the ground.
Thoughts of you come to mind. I wonder how you are. We haven’t communicated in so long. Too much time and distance…
I sit by the patio door, now open, with a cup of tea resting on the table by my chair.
I am silent and quietly aware.
A gentle breeze flows in. I know its presence through my chilled skin
and the sight of leaves shivering on the vine and shrubs outside.
Now sunlight informs me of a fragile spider thread. It’s attached to the vine at one end
but no longer connected at the other.
Fascinated, I watch this fragile thread as the breeze lifts and carries it directly to me. Ah, I see!
Gallstones “You won’t like the taste!” warned the old woman. There was compassion and a hint of laughter in her eyes as her lips formed a wry smile remembering the remedy. Am I crazy and is she a quack? I thought. Desperate people do desperate things, I mused philosophically. The chronic pain had become unbearable. Every joy in life had dissolved in that pain. I’d finally seen a Surgeon. Gallbladder removal. A common procedure. Surgery in a few weeks. The office would call with the date and time. I thanked the Doctor, shook his hand and placed my hand over the pain and prayed. God help me! “Okay” I said to this obviously amused woman offering me a simple solution to the pain. “It’s harmless,” she said quietly. Then her expression swiftly changed. As she began giving me the instructions, I started to wonder if she had a military background. Do this. Do this. Do this. Did I have to poop on command too? I wondered. “Okay. Okay. I’m listening,” I said reluctantly. “This is how you purge gallstones without surgery,” she began again. “Make sure you choose two days with nothing else on the agenda, so get what you’ll need beforehand.” “You’ll find a pint jar with a lid- as well as a jar big enough to hold three cups of water and four tablespoons of Epsom Salts. Don’t get the Epsom Bath Salts! You’ll have to find the Epsom Salts for internal use. Remember that!” “You’ll need a bottle of extra light virgin Olive Oil. The good stuff. Don’t be cheap. You’ll also buy two fresh pink Grapefruit. Only fresh will do.” “Oh yes,” she said with a funny smile, “you’ll probably want either a few slices of lemon or a sweet lollipop to treat your tastebuds.” My mouth soured and I swallowed the thought. “So, are you willing to give it a go?” she asked in her military voice. The pain replied “Yes!” “Well then. You start your first day with a no fat breakfast and lunch. No fat!” she commanded. “Do not eat or drink after 2 p.m. Don’t cheat. This is important!” she stressed. “Get the Epsom Salts drink ready. Mix four tablespoons with three cups of water in a well cleaned jar. This makes four measured servings of three-quarters of a cup each. Put the jar in the fridge to get cold.” Well at least she’s talking in measurements and hours I can easily understand! I said in private conversation with myself. “At precisely 6 p.m. drink one serving of the water and Epsom Salts. You may want to lick that lollipop or lemon slice then,” she said with a chuckle. Pointing her right index finger to an invisible chalkboard, she read, “the Olive Oil and Grapefruit should be sitting out on the counter for later.” “At 7 and 8 p.m. quickly drink another three-quarter cup serving. Timing is critical for success, so don’t be more than 10 minutes early or late!” she ordered. I looked at the invisible chalkboard where this strategic plan was clearly outlined in crisp white chalk. I can do this! I told myself. “At 9:45 p.m. you’ll pour a measured half-cup of the Olive Oil into the clean pint jar. You’ll squeeze the pink Grapefruit by hand into the measuring cup. Remove the pulp with a fork. You should have at least a half-cup to three-quarters cup of juice. Add this to the Olive Oil. Close the jar lid tightly and shake hard until it all becomes watery. Only fresh Grapefruit juice will do this,” she noted. Yuck! I said to myself, feeling a little nauseous. Why was surgery suddenly looking more desirable?! “Visit the bathroom, but don’t be more than 15 minutes late for the 10 p.m. drink she commanded again. “At 10 p.m. drink the Olive Oil and Grapefruit mixture you’ve just made. You must be standing up to do this. Don’t laugh! Drink it down within 5 minutes. Then lie down immediately. You might fail to get the gallstones out if you don’t. The sooner you lie down, the more stones you’ll purge, so be ready for bed ahead of time. Try to keep perfectly still for at least 20 minutes. Go to sleep,” she commanded yet again. I almost shouted, “Yes Sir!” as my body stiffened. She pushed on. “Upon awakening the next morning, you’ll take your last dose of the Epsom Salts drink. You may go back to bed. After two more hours you may eat. Start with fruit juice. Half an hour later, eat fruit. One hour later, you may eat regular food but keep it light. By supper you should be fully recovered,” she said light-heartedly. I sighed in relief. “Expect diarrhea in the morning. Don’t be shy! Have a look. Gallstones are green and float because of the cholesterol in them or form as calcified stones in shades of brown. Sometimes the bile ducts are also full of cholesterol crystals, tan coloured. They look like floating ‘chaff’. Cleansing this ‘chaff’ is just as important as purging the gallstones. You’re also cleansing the liver at the same time, by the way. No surgeries. Minor discomfort. Congratulations!” she said triumphantly. “Okay…” I said slowly and decisively. What’s to lose…I thought…a body part or a few hours of taste-bud torture. “Okay.” So now I am “Okay”. It worked!! And maybe next year… Short story by Shelley Wilson July 2014
I had supper in the screenhouse outside with Cynthia, Chelsea, and Mom. Just after we finished eating, a large bumblebee flew into the tent in the middle of our conversation about personally experiencing ‘claustrophobia’. The bee buzzed around the walls of the tent looking for a way back out. Did it feel a little ‘claustrophobic’ in there? I wondered. Someone said “Kill it!” as they evacuated for fear of being stung. I stayed, saying “No, don’t kill a bee. We need them!” In a few minutes it found its way back out, no doubt due to my coaxing directions. ha ha Then everyone re-entered the tent and sat down. I was overcome with a wave of tiredness, so excused myself for a nap. A few hours later, I awakened in a remarkable state of awareness. I was lying on my side. I felt like my head and neck were plugged into a high voltage energy source that increased in intensity and sound volume as I accepted the experience with gratitude. I can only compare the sound to the buzzing of countless bees. It was most peculiar!!! This was different from my meditation experiences of blissful ecstasy. What could it bee??? Talk about ‘getting a buzz’!!! ha ha I wonder if this is what the bees hear when they get together??? I thanked the bumblebee for its unexpected visit.
An old photograph resurfaced after many years in my closet ‘Collection of Artifacts and a Myriad Mysteries’. It was a picture I took of my husband, Roger, and our two children, Alissa and Aaron, both in their pre-teens.
There was nothing extraordinary or ‘special’ about our little family, but now and then we glimpsed the special magic of Nature. Perhaps it was just our receptive appreciation of Nature that often attracted messengers of the wilderness into our lives.
Looking at that photo, I recalled the journey of that first of July, ‘Canada Day’. My memory became more vivid, feeling the sizzling heat of the day and my aching muscles as we winched and coaxed our aluminum boat and fishing gear up the challenging portage. It was a slow, exhausting process that grounded our visions of carefree relaxation floating on the lake beyond. We all pitched in to make it through that frustrating, mosquito-annoying, hot and arduous struggle. I remember taking sips of cold water mixed with my sweat and a little fly-repellant, and being just too tired to care. I remember thinking The Eternal Question—‘Why are we here?’ Then, free of the hill and burden of ‘details’ we’d brought, we were finally back on water enjoying the luxury of a working outboard-motor. As we sped along, I thanked God for the millionth time and all the ingenious humans who’d ever invented labour-saving machinery. I have never been sophisticated enough to take such things for granted.
An hour or so later of cooling breeze and boat vibrations, we decided that we’d ‘arrived’ at our unknown destination. The lightened cooler was opened once again, and we hungrily devoured our sandwiches. Mine also had the added flavours of sweat and fly-dope and fish bait. I can taste the memory even now.
Shortly after our meal was eaten and our bait was put to work, we had a visit from an unexpected guest. A messenger of Nature surfaced near our boat to thrill us with a clearly communicating display, soundly slapping its large, flat tail on the water. Everything is truly the meaning one gives to it, and from our welcoming perspective we interpreted the warning sign to be the ‘Canada Day Beaver’s Salute’. The timing was perfect! We had worked so hard to get to that ‘special place’ of quiet peace and floating freedom, like the beaver who ‘greeted’ us. I understood the natural warning of ‘Don’t anyone even think of taking these values away from this place!’ That’s when beavers shape-shift into fighting creatures much more aggressive and fierce. A sanctuary of peace and freedom is what Canadian families, and so many individual Canadians, have worked so hard to create, to continually maintain, and to gratefully enjoy. We salute all who share such values and warn those who don’t.
Then I thought, recalling that extraordinary/ordinary event on ‘Canada Day’—‘For however long we Canadians choose to unite as a country, may Canada’s national pride aways be tempered by a healthy humility as it grows to be a co-creator of a higher vision of World Unity. That isn’t too much for any Global Citizen to hope for, n’est-ce pas?’
I placed the old photograph back into my closet ‘Collection of Artifacts and a Myriad Mysteries’ with a wistful smile.
There was a vast field of Sunflowers growing to maturity with the nurturing of the Earth, the Rain, and the Sun.
One day, a Sunflower announced “I am a Sunflower! I am an expression of Life, my Creator! We are all part of and one with Life!”
Not understanding, the other Sunflowers whispered all kinds of judgments to each other. Unaware of their own nature, some chose to worship and adore the Sunflower who had realized and expressed its oneness with Life as a loving Sunflower. Some chose to deny the Sunflower was a Sunflower, not realizing their own nature too. Some ignored the message and the controversy it provoked. Every Sunflower judged the Sunflower and the Message of Oneness through the changing, evolving states of their own awareness. Here and there, a Sunflower would awaken and declare “I am a Sunflower! I am an expression of Life, my Creator! We are all part of and one with Life!”
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