Moon at Midnight – Part XXXXV (day 2019)

(part XXXXIV)

The Winter season is a time of slowing down
Snow comes and one can no longer roam freely
Through the forests
Paths are easily identified,
Packed down by the feet that use them
If you venture off the path
One can expect a mukluk full of snow
However, in thick forest
The trees can stop a lot of snow from coming down
Even in the middle of Winter
One can find fairly shallow snow.

Upon the snowscapes
It just takes a few days of no snow
For tracks to criss-cross the land
It’s a trackers dream to see
Little paw prints going from here to there
Rabbits are usually the first to show up
And deer are always there too
It goes a long way to track in the Winter
Even if just for fun
To learn the patterns of the animal you’re tracking.

By mid Winter we had found our routines once again
In the village footpaths would go
From teepee to teepee
Making an elaborate maze of singletracks
My structured mind actually enjoyed
Seeing the perfectly followed and stamped down footpaths
Destroyed by some shenanigans
Most likely two kids playing rough
One getting thrown into the snow
Or sidestepping and falling as they let
An elder pass along the trail.

On the warmer days
Willow and I would sit outside our teepee
Drinking tea we had collected
From the root of the burdock plant
And the nettle that stings,
Both plants abundant in forests here
We shared a lot of information
About our past, about our knowledge of the land
She learned a lot of English in these days
And I learned Pikanii
We would point to things
And then try to remember before the other would,
Sometimes Lily would sit with us
She knew it was important for her to know English
The more white man like myself settled into the territory
There was no use trying to fight that
Even Mountain Chief knew this
Moon Cow, being fairly fluent in English
Had already been teaching Lily
Before I had arrived.

part XXXXVI

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