Saturday, July 16, 2011

Back home!

It was a whirlwind of a trip!  Julie and I were on our way, through Wisconsin all the way to Superior, and on to Duluth, Minnesota...

Over the big bridge and on to International Falls to spend the night.

In the morning, over the border and Ontario!

Beautiful Ontario!  Beautiful waters greet us, and pretty flowers against the blue, probably member of the dandelion famuly.

All along the sides of the highway are these huge rock hills and cliffs, and on top of almost all of them are little piles of rock called "Inukshuks".  They are your guide for a safe journey through life's travels. 

Inukshuks are built to resemble humans.  (This one was in a friend's garden)  They were originally built in the Arctic by the Inuit and used as several different landmarks.  They were often used in the same way we use road signs: to mark directions to certain areas, and signify safe passages through the terrain.  They were also used to signify good fishing spots, animal crossing or grazing areas, gathering areas for berries and other food.  Inukshuks can also be a warning symbol against dangerous waters, or to label the depth of snow.  Also, the Inuit peoples would often have spiritual experiences while spending time out in the wild.  The Inukshuks would be placed to mark an area where such an experience occured.  Today, they are made by anyone and everyone.  Many local travelers create the stone pilings during their travels to mark their routes.

The Inukshuk reminds us that as good as our individual efforts may be, together we can do even greater things.  Each individual stone in an Inukshuk supports, and is supported by, the stone above and below it.  No one piece is any more or less important than any other piece.  The strength lies in the unity of the pieces - the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.  The significance lies in its meaning as a whole.  The stones which create the figure are secured through balance and are chosen for how well they fit together.  The removal of even one stone would destroy the integrity of the whole.  The Inukshuk is a symbol for the way a society should work.  In working together, people are able to be stronger and achieve more than any one member.  Each person needs to belong to something greater than ourselves.  The Inukshuk is to communicate and remind others  that they are not alone in their journeys.

A stop in Dryden for our picnic lunch before we continued on to Perrault Falls where Brent is staying.


Laura said...

How exciting April and thanks for sharing the Inukshuks, I have a personal experience with these also.. when you see them as you go by it's almost like a very powerful silent understanding...enjoy your trip..sounds wonderful.

april said...

Yes Laura, and shortly after we left the border into Canada, the "low tire pressure" light came on. We made the choice to continue on. There was a small gas station that Julie knew was coming up, but after that nothing for hours. They were so nice, checked the pressure and we knew one was low, but Rich has nitrogen in the tires and the extrememly helpful attendant didn't seem to think she could put in regular air. We drove on and on and on into nothing, until Dryden where there was a small Ford dealer. They put it up on the rack and we had a nail in that tire! They fixed it and we were only about an hour behind and only $23. Amazing! They were so nice. I know the Inukshuks helped us on that safe journey all through that nothingness till we got to that Ford dealer. And then on to Perrault Falls and all the way home again safely.