In recent years, I have not allowed a day of my life to take flight and then swiftly disappear into the twilight of yesteryear without giving a thought to family and friends who have passed away. Not long ago, they lived. Like all of us they were once comforted by the heartbeat of their mothers. And when in their tender years, like all children, they laughed and played in the sunlight. And knew, from the untold sorrows of their times, what it is that pushes tears from the eyes of a human being.
I was well acquainted with Willie Dunn. I wish I could tell you that I had a close and endearing relationship with him but I cannot. I am confident all the same that Willie Dunn respected me. I certainly respected and admired him. Willie supported my work as an activist and was especially fond of the poetry I wrote. He was an extraordinary man who died way before his time. Willie contributed greatly to First Nations identity and purpose. He was a good man who was taken for granted by far too many.
People like Willie are like that tree you are familiar with. The one on the hill perhaps, near a highway you often find yourself travelling on. It is a marker telling you where you are landed or something of tremendous beauty. It portrays strength and emotional wellness. People like Willie are like a rare bird of song. We hear them sing when we prepare a site for ceremony. We hear their song when our hearts ache with worry. The song cleanses us and we are reassured by it that in the end, all will go well.
I recently rediscovered a music video Willie Dunn performed back in 1994. Here’s the link, check it out! Children of the World:
I’m so ready for spring. The winter was difficult, too much snow, too much freezing rain, too much severe cold. My skin longs to feel the hot sun pressing against it. I can hardly wait to feel the soft spongy earth cleansing and reinvigorating my bare feet. One morning soon, I hope to awaken to the song of a robin, to look out the window and declare “Behold the Spring.”
All the best,
South Wind (Albert Dumont)
PS – Here is my Tribute to Willie Dunn.