Artful Land Care

Troubles

In Doctrine of Discovery on November 26, 2020 at 6:00 am

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They set fire and burned a Mi’kmaq lobster pound in Middle West Pubnico to the ground.  I had no idea Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq are having significant troubles with commercial fishers until Crow Eddy, Disciple Mi’kmaq artist, friend, and Co-Moderator of the Center for Indigenous Ministries, told me.  This was disturbing in at least two ways.  First, my not knowing the troubles of the Mi’kmaq, a people whose land-base is US and Canadian, signifies how US media continues to play a racist role in concealing acts of injustice toward Indigenous people.  Second, is Indigenous and non-indigenous people alike struggle to preserve—or re-claim—their natural identity of self and family. 

On September 17, the Sipekne’katik, a band of the Mi’kmaq, began a lobster fishery.  The Sipekne’katik opened the fishery based on the 21-year-old Canadian Supreme Court Marshall Decision which affirmed a 1760 British treaty giving the Mi’kmaq the constitutional right to fish, hunt and gather so they might maintain a moderate livelihood.  When the Sipekne’katik fishery opened their season—“off” the commercial season—the commercial fishing industry took offense.  Mi’kmaq fishers began having their ropes and buoys cut, a fishing boat burned, Chief Sack of the Sipekne’katik assaulted, and the Middle West Pubnico lobster pound charred.  More so, some commercial fishers told “local businesses that should they receive lobster from the Sipekne’katik they would be blacklisted, [which at the time left]…Sipekne’katik fishers with lobster and no place to sell them.

Nickname

In Landscape, Reflections, Seasons on November 8, 2020 at 10:00 am

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Autumn arrives quietly with shortening days and cooler weather.  Her arrival is easy to miss in the time of harvest.  There is no knock on the front door.  She enters through the back door, quietly as if it is her own, and settles down in the kitchen and waits to see if you notice.  If not for glancing the roadside drainage and taking notice of sumac’s change to ruddy red, Autumn would be missed as she sits, quietly, blushing as the rabbit rests beneath the branches of her leafy skirt.  Her blush deepens as leaves drop now and again in the cooling days, the sunshine of hard work, and the evening resting of bones.  Yet for all her ease, Autumn’s nickname is well deserved. 

First freeze is light and easily experienced as a frosty morning.  Hardly noticed.  Except for the wilt of those leaves who carry water on their sleeves.  Autumn has tired of sitting alone in the kitchen and her introverted self desires company, attention, responsiveness—know I am here!  Spreading forth she calls on winter kin who lends her a hard freeze.  Thermometer digits tumble and water within the thickest of leaf stems freeze.  And the rabbit shivers as Autumn’s red skirt falls.  For the remainder of the season she is known only by her nickname.

Leaves fall and her need for color wanes.  Turning to the sky she lends her ruddiness to freezing sunrises and fixing sunsets.  Leaving her to lay leaves, one upon another, to hearten ground as winter kin approaches.

Spring 2020

In Reflections on March 20, 2020 at 7:10 am

I step outside the back door with a cup of coffee.  It’s 5am and the dog needs letting out.  It’s March 20 and a moonless morning.  The air is as black as the sky.  Stars play games with one another to see who is the better showoff.  The tiniest beam and shout.  Big ones puff out six-pack chests.  In the silence of Spring’s first morning and the fifth day of doing my best to spend entire days at the farm, I relax within what I believe mystical.