This weekend, surrounded by the vastness of the silent speaking Rockies, as Ravens invited myth into the grey dusted Autumn air, gratitude found me. Awe-full, I remembered why it was I chose to move to Alberta seven years ago. And that remembering has never left me. Family, friends, and colleagues were perplexed at my reasoning when I told them, "The mountains called," they simply nodded. I had no idea why I "heard" the call of The Rockies. No idea why the title of the first book of poetry I wrote in this province was entitled, Chagall, the Mountains, and Lake Louise. Yet, all the while those mountains knew. They knew in their silent speaking that Sawbonna would come. They knew that Raven would grace my life with her penchant for mystery. For soaring. For surrender. They knew that myth does not require logic and readymade approval to thrive. So this Thanksgiving, sharing rich emails with friends and family, and a satisfying meal with my partner, I stood before the mountains, and I said, "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, for the gift that is Sawbonna, that is your voice in union with my own, with my kindreds in living a justness that can not be bought, sold, or bartered. But must be sought. Found. Embraced. Shared."
Voiceless scent, oh stretching mountains,
How you have spoken. My heartbeat in
Twinned intimacy with your might,
Answers. Answers. Answers.
In straining to mount your
Beckoning summit, forgiveness
Breathes your name. Reconciliation
Eats your fire. You have heard us.
And we are glad. Glad. Glad.
Copyright Margot Van Sluytman