October Canoe Ride to the Trapline

As a boy living in Hall Lake or La Ronge, my family would pack up to go to the trapline in October. We would gather what we need and usually take a taxi to Pisew Lake. At the time, I would kind of dreaded going because I loved watching TV. I would miss the shows I watched, but I would especially miss wrestling and kung fu movies. I loved those type of shows.

My family would have to make the trip by canoe across the lake at Pisew Lake. It was amazing having to travel by canoe. It would take two canoes or one big canoe to take us and our supplies to make the trip. I remember we were waiting at the landing for a time before we saw my uncles travelling toward us from across the lake.

While we waited, I would look at the wonderous scenery of autumn. The leaves blowing away on the grassy/gravel road toward the landing would sometimes conjure up small dust devils, I would call them “little tornadoes”.

The trees would slowly lose their summertime companions as they would be in different shades of orange and yellow. My sisters and I would run around catching them in our hands.

The rustling of leaves had forever ingrained in my mind, the memories of those few times. Today, I can stand for many moments and listen to the rustling of brightly coloured leaves and stare at them in the vibrant sunlight. The nostalgia of it all fills my mind and heart with good feelings and the yearning to bring back the old days. I am happy I got to enjoy the wonderful experience as a child, at a place where there was very little in the way of crowds, buildings and traffic.

As we travelled on the lake with the canoes, the beautiful sight of the trees at the shores seemed almost magical. At the time, I felt that God had done a great job in creating the earth just for us to enjoy. Such perfection and grace. I would feel totally relaxed and was oblivious to those around me.

 

There was little talking during the trip. I appreciated it because sounds from the trickling water from the canoe gliding over the rippling water was delightful. The wind on the leaves was gentle music to me ears. The sight of the trees from the far shore was mesmerizing because it would seem like the trees nearest you were moving faster than the trees further into the forest.

 

The sun seemed to follow us in the sky and on the lake as it reflected beautifully; following us and taking care of us as it kept us warm during a usually chilly autumn. I did not miss watching TV at those times.

My sister Mary’s photo. I just had to share it.

We did not have a camera back then, but if we did, I would have certainly taken as many pictures as I could. The memories are thankfully vivid and there is not always a need to take pictures. All you need, is to stand there in a similar setting and take it all in. I am thankful for all the memories.

mistik – tree

mistikwak – trees

nīpiy – leaf

nīpiya – leaves

takwākin – fall

sākāhikan – lake

wāsakām – shore

pimiskā – paddle

īpimiskācik – they are paddling on a canoe

cv

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