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Voices ᐋ ᐄᔮᔨᐧᒫᓂᐧᐃᒡ

Mixed up and dazed

BY Sonny Orr Aug 16, 2023

As we look to the skies and see a smoke-free environment, you know that summer is back but a little too late for us Northerners. This so-called climate change just can’t seem to make up its mind. Is it going to be good or bad for the environment? Who knows, you’d be better off reading a horoscope and using that instead of the weather. 

How can the stars go wrong, they’ve been at it for billions of years, and we can’t seem to make it past retirement age these days. Blame global warming on the stars, in this case, our own sun. Isn’t that the source of our heat in this tiny segment of the universe?

So, I guess solar activities are next on our weather forecast. Can our bodies take all this irradiation without protection for more than an hour, or are we toast today? I guess there’s a slim chance that a meteor could become a meteorite and cause some collateral damage… let’s say in a few million years? Just about the same odds of getting chomped on by dinosaurs, I guess.

Now that it’s safe to go outside and play, the kids will soon realize that school is just around the corner, after spending much of their summer break surrounded by smoke or out of town as evacuees. So, make the most of summer this year, pick some berries while the season is still good. Unlike last year when berries were not around at all, and bears went hungry.

This year seems to be a promising bumper crop for those juicy northern fruits. Today, after having the world-famous fish berry salad for lunch, using the finest char and largest blueberries, flavoured with goose grease, we sated out summer hunger pangs with shikumen. Life and lunch just couldn’t be any better.

On another note, the construction holiday is over, and hotels, pools and chalets are freed up to travel again. Sometimes I wonder if travel is worth it these days as our tiny northern country of Canada, just can’t keep up with meeting its tourism demands. After all, there’s nothing preventing us from going anywhere except for the great chance of raining on your best laid plans. 

For our vacation, we were held back by fires that spread like wildfire (pun intended) and flash floods mixed with tornados and giant hail providing the worst in weather possible for our trip. Thankfully the fires held us back long enough to give up and return home, where the skies are blue and the clouds are white, at least for now.

As the days grow shorter, I wonder if there’s enough time in the day and berries left, to pick some for that pie that I’ve promised for years to bake. I prefer hot pie-à-la-mode as ice cream just naturally pairs with steaming hot pie. 

Labrador tea and cloudberries are also in season. On a side note, I’ve seen posts of Alaskans showing off their cloudberries. And lo and behold, I spy that the berries are nestled in a patch of Labrador tea, the tiny ones that we use to spice up our bland store-bought tea. 

Apparently, this tea is not just isolated to this region as numerous biologists and scientists have sadly claimed. So, who do we believe, some random Facebook post or scientists who haven’t ventured too far out of their way to confirm their findings? 

Who knows, but I’m willing to bet that our little tea has been gone unnoticed in the scientific world, save for the fact that it is a strong killer of the dreaded malaria and has just garnered some attention for that scientific fact.

So, our world turns and continues to spin, and the North is changing rapidly. Hopefully humanity can ride this one out safely, as retirement nears and several millennia shall pass before anyone can claim to notice that the sun is burning, and our skin is tanning just right. 

Enjoy what is left of summer!

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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.