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Voices ᐋ ᐄᔮᔨᐧᒫᓂᐧᐃᒡ

Casting on heaven’s door

BY Sonny Orr Jul 3, 2024

The sweat is starting to glisten on my skin and the heat is starting to annoy my usual good humour, enough to start swearing at Mother Nature and her whims. What was just recently a delightful pattern of falling snowflakes is now a swarm of hungry mosquitoes. 

Once proud showing off the spring hunt, local social media is now competing to see who can swat more of those little buggers at a time, and the numbers are impressive. Nothing close to draining all your precious blood or carrying off an infant in a dense cloud of bugs. But it’s close to the mark when it comes to the spring mosquito’s unquenched thirst for anything red, warm and liquid.

I’m safely tucked away indoors. The need to scratch those itchy bites into mountainous scabs is gone. My fair complexion and complicated skin are now dry and cool, thanks to air conditioning. It’s a funny invention, which uses humid or dry air to remove the heat and blow cool air gently around the room. I think it should be called the human conditioner instead.

It may seem odd to comment on the weather all the time. But for us, it’s a fluid astronomical sign that changes, alongside the planets, stars and the universe. This powerful sign from the earth tells us whether to dress for warm or frigid temperatures. As the weather changes, so does the wardrobe. If you’re a Cancer like me, I have an empathic ability to foretell certain things, especially weather patterns.

For example, the winds whip up nice and gusty in the summer. You will notice on the waters nearby, like on a lake or slow-moving river, tons of collateral damage (dead bugs) floating and offering a feast to the fish just beneath the surface. In times like this, the lesson is: go fishing.

Then, a bonus – when massive horse flies are dive-bombing to chew off your upper layer of skin. They fly off briefly, only to return for the second layer of flesh. Those are on those rare, most glorious sunny beachside tan-your-ass-off kind of days. So much so that the carnivorous fly is a small inconvenience. Days like these give us the same lesson: go fishing.

If you see the clouds in the skies blacken and slowly start rumbling with some flickering in the distance, I sense the ozone getting ready to reverse polarity at the speed of light. Then they release thunderous booms and cracks of blinding light. Just before it escalates into a squall of a rainstorm. The lesson? Yes, go fishing! 

I don’t recommend fishing during an electrical storm. That type of fishing is called crazy. No one will catch a fish during a storm – I tried that already! Luckily, the lightning that did strike was within spitting distance of my tackle box full of mini lightning rods, aka fish lures. Just kidding! Just go fishing! Don’t let anything stop you!

The most deluxe forecast of all is when the day is studded with clouds and a nice constant breeze with nothing flying except your spirit. Days like this leave no time to sit back and gut your catch. The fish of the fresh waters and the salty bays are too busy filling your net. That kind of heavenly day was made for God to go fishing. So go fishing! 

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Sonny Orr is Cree from Chisasibi, and has been a columnist for the Nation for over 20 years. He regularly pens Rez Notes from the cozy social club in Whapmagoostui where he resides.