The chilly air feels great as I truck down my lane this morning. It's sunny and cool, my favorite September weather. I'm sorry to everyone who loves the heat, but days like today are made for me. I've left the house one minute before seven and for some reason I want to be in a hurry. I love getting to school early (not that that's ever been my habbit.) But, I start taking pictures. The yellow leaves against the blue sky. The red leaves against the green. The rose hips and grader lips all draw my camera eye to close ups. And there's my mug, still hanging. Memo to self: must pick up mug on way home.
By the time I get out of the trees I notice that it's not really a sunny day. The clouds are heavy in patches. The sideways light hitting the white teepees, all against the dark sky, makes the pictures feel epic, like a movie or a picture book. A vehicle slows behind me. I turn and it's my husband, Michael, in my Envoy. He tells me I'm walking militantly. I laugh. I know I look goofy, but I didn't think I could pull off military walking. He drives away, and I grin, the last three digits of the license plate spells HUF. I used to drive to school in a HUF, too.
I get to the bridge, and I take another picture of the sunshine and cloudy sky reflected in the slow running river, grass and trees growing along the bank and then it hits me. As long as the grass grows, the sun shines, the river flows are the timeline phrases written into treaty. This picture, this spot along my treaty walk, is teaching me treaty.
In my first two periods, my students teach me more about treaty. I hadn't realized that the fourth flag flying at the Hospital was the Treaty 4 flag. I thought it was maybe a File Hills flag, or a flag specific to the hospital.
On my way home, I hear drummers singing at Treaty 4. One of my students is helping greet people at the entrance. I call her name and wave. She waves and says, "Will we be coming here tomorrow?"
"Yes," I say.
"Oh good," she says and I continue on, happy to walk without being in a HUF.