This summer we are staying with my parents in Canada. My family emigrated to Edmonton in the 1980s and have been very happy here. I attended High School and University here and, though I now live in the UK, I still consider Edmonton my hometown.
This weekend we did something we’ve never done before – we attended the annual Pow Wow which is an event that has been hosted for more than 50 years by the local First Nation people. If you’re interested, more information here.
Tribes from all over North America travel to the Pow Wow to engage not only with each other but also with the local communities. This year the theme was to honour Indigenous language and culture.
As well as traditional singing and dancing, there were speeches, gifts and presentations. Many of the speeches focused on living in peace and harmony, having a connection with the land and the healing that comes through this connection.
And this got me to thinking. Although the dancing and (especially) the singing was very culturally different to what I am used to, there is a beautiful simplicity to this connection that all peoples and cultures express in their own ways. Whether it is through prayer, meditation, dance or simple reflection, we all try to connect with those around us and with our environment.
And in many ways, the more technologically advanced we become, the more we have to struggle to connect. How many of us have watched people watching a sporting event, but instead of watching what is in front of them they are watching the screens of their smartphones as they record it?!
There is a link to writing and journaling here! Through our writing, our art, our reflections we translate our thoughts and feelings into a more physical form. We take our perceptions and analyses and transcribe them, creating echoes of our existence on the pages. Perhaps to be shared, perhaps not. But creating connections nonetheless. Linking what is inside with what is outside. And vice versa.