Beyond the Music


Finding wisdom in hoola hoops, tattoos, bare feet, nail polish in multiple hues, and in powerful words.

I met a very chatty ten year old who delighted in comparing the colours of the nail polish we were wearing on our fingers and on our toes. She reflected on the numerous hues of mauve that adorned her finger nails, and on the pinks and oranges on her toes.

I met a beautiful, little four year old amidst an array of hoola hoops. She taught me, with very clear and concise instruction the step by step way to twirl hoola hoops on my arms. She taught me how to twirl a hoola hoop around my waist. With great wisdom she advised me that if I was afraid that the hoola hoop might hit me in the eye, that I should just close them.

Hoola hoops

We met Barefoot Sue, a grandma who has been walking barefoot for the past twelve years. Through the forests, through ice and snow, into restaurants and supermarkets, anywhere but on hot coals and fire, to connect with the earth to enhance happiness, health and strength. She is a keeper of the water. I am a keeper of the tree.

I noticed a tattoo on the back of a beautiful woman. To me, this tattoo represents power, wisdom, confidence, and strength and sisterhood.

So beautiful!

My deepest interaction of the weekend was meeting indigenous artist, poet and painter, Paul Shilling, Chippewas of Rama First Nations. As I read his poetry and purchased a piece of his art, he shared a very different finger nail story.

And still, I read the very powerfully words that he has written. Words that begin with, “I accept your apology. Your apology made me cry from somewhere deep inside for my mother and father, sisters and brothers, and for my children. “