Journey through the week of May 27-June 2, 2024

Experience the world through the spiritual and earthly eyes of Geegado Megwan Kwe. Each week, this series delivers heartfelt whispers reflecting on life’s highs and lows. It’s an invitation to witness the raw, unfiltered moments that shape a holistic life coach’s path to empowerment and healing.

Rekindling the Traveller's Spirit: Weekly Whispers

Before the world was reshaped by COVID-19, my life was marked by constant movement. Travelling was second nature to me—frequent stays in motels and journeys through diverse landscapes were a routine part of my rhythm. Amidst these bustling travels, I found solace in the weekly whispers of routine. My travels to familiar territories in Northeastern and Southern Ontario—Timmins, my birthplace, and weaving through North Bay, Mattawa, Ottawa, Barrie, and Toronto.

The arrival of the pandemic brought this perpetual motion to a sudden halt. The new reality was one of confinement and caution. Being in public became a source of stress rather than excitement. The simple act of wearing a mask, intended for safety, felt like a trigger for anxiety. It was an uncomfortable paradox where the protective measure became a source of discomfort, with frequent adjustments that felt counterintuitive to the very purpose of the mask. My outings were reduced to absolute necessities—chiefly, attending medical appointments for my dad or visiting establishments where mask mandates were relaxed.

My recent journeys have taken me through Northwestern Ontario, reacquainting me with the region’s expansive landscapes and tranquil beauty. The transition from the enclosed spaces of the pandemic era to the open roads was a slow rediscovery of freedom. This contrast between pre-pandemic freedom and the cautious re-emergence into the world underscores a journey of adaptation and renewed discovery. Once a seamless part of my existence, travel now carries deeper layers of meaning and appreciation, as each journey invites movement through space and personal and collective histories reshaped by a global event.

@mikash1998

My first trip to Blind River doubling back to Espagnola. This is my first time this far West of us. Yes, there are lots of trees. The beauty of each area is slightly different with such grounding energy. #rayofsunshine #BlindRiver #Espagnola #NorthernOntario #Haileybury #Field #Warren #Verner #OpenRoad #RoadTrip

♬ original sound – Geegado Megwan Kwe (Rollie)

A Moment of Serenity in Blind River

A resilient flower pushing through the cracks in concrete.

Blind River provided a serene backdrop for reconnection with my friend Kiara. Nearby, the river unfolded in breathtaking vistas that promised peace and stillness.

My journey there was marked by an impromptu discovery—a stunning waterfall, its beauty compelling enough to warrant a stop on my return. This detour led me to Kennebec Falls, a serene spot steeped in Ojibway legend. Named for the mythical “Serpent,” this area resonated with tales of MISHEBESHU, the great lynx, adding layers of cultural mythology to the natural splendour.

@mikash1998

As I was driving towards Blind River, I was captivated by the striking beauty of the falls and noticed a roadside rest area on the left. On the way back, curiosity led me to stop and explore further, uncovering an unexpected treasure—a picturesque walkway that took me under the highway bridge to the serene Kennebec Falls on the north side. Named “Kennebec,” which translates to “Serpent” in Ojibway, this enchanting spot intertwines nature with folklore. The river might be named for its serpentine path or a legendary river monster, hinted at in local Ojibway legends that speak of MISHEBESHU, the “great lynx”, and caution against disturbing the “Serpent’s Eggs”, possibly referring to uranium-coated quartz nodules mined in the area. My discovery offered not only a peaceful respite but also a deep connection to the lore and natural beauty of the region. KennebecFalls SerpentRiver MISHEBESHU OntarioAdventures RoadsideDiscoveries NatureLovers FolkloreFriday

♬ original sound – Geegado Megwan Kwe (Rollie) – Geegado Megwan Kwe (Rollie)

Deep Cultural Connections in Espanola

My engagement with the community in Espanola was profound and transformative. The cultural awareness training sessions provided were not merely instructional but served as a deep immersion into the spiritual practices that knit the fabric of our collective identity. These gatherings were an opportunity to bridge cultural understanding and honour the traditions that continue to guide us.

One of the core elements of our time together was the Water Ceremony. This sacred ritual emphasizes the significance of water as a source of life and a vessel of healing and renewal. Participants were invited to reflect on their personal and communal connections to water, fostering a shared reverence for this vital resource. This ceremony was not just a learning experience but a communal embrace of the spiritual and physical sustenance that water provides.

The Sharing Circle was another pivotal component of our sessions. It offered a space for vulnerability and collective healing as we remembered a colleague whose presence had left an indelible mark on our community. The circle allowed each participant to voice their memories, grief, and hopes, weaving shared stories and strengthening bonds. The session resonated deeply with the strains of the Migizi Honour Song, a sacred melody that calls upon the spirit of the eagle to impart strength and wisdom. The song served as a poignant tribute to our lost colleague, enveloping us in a sense of shared loss and communal support.

Through these sessions, the community of Espanola and I ventured together into a deeper understanding of our cultural roots and current realities. We emerged with a renewed commitment to nurture these connections and carry forward the teachings that sustain our community’s spirit and heritage.

A Revered Acknowledgment

Amid the deeply spiritual and communal activities of our Cultural Awareness Training in Espanola, a significant personal acknowledgment had taken place a few months prior, which enriched the context of my engagement with the community. An Elder whom I deeply love and respect recognized me as a grandmother. This recognition was not merely a title but a profound entrustment of cultural and spiritual responsibilities, highly esteemed within our traditions.

The role of a grandmother in our community extends far beyond being an elder; it encompasses being a custodian of wisdom and a guide for the younger generations. This acknowledgment was an honour and a profound call to action, bestowed upon me even before I arrived for the sessions. It challenged me to rise to the expectations associated with such a pivotal role and to embody the wisdom and guidance that our traditions uphold.

Being recognized in this way deepened my connection to the community and the cultural teachings we shared during the training. It underscored the responsibilities I carry forward, not only in honouring the spiritual practices such as the Water Ceremony and the Sharing Circle but also in nurturing and guiding our community members. This title reaffirmed my commitment to serve with humility and dedication, ensuring that the legacy of wisdom continues to flourish for generations to come.

 With this recognition, my activities in Espanola were imbued with a heightened sense of purpose and duty, compelling me to engage even more deeply with the community and to contribute to our collective journey of understanding, respect, and spiritual growth.

A Journey Marked by Illness and Reflection

As I departed Espanola, returning home, an unexpected bout of flu overtook me. This illness not only marked my physical journey with discomfort but also shaped the emotional landscape of my travels. The solitude and stillness necessitated by the flu allowed for deep reflection, yet it was disrupted by unsettling news over the weekend—a young man had gone missing, stirring the community and reawakening personal fears and past traumas.

During the poignant reflections and sombre news that marked my journey, there was a precious moment of joy and light—my Sunday spent with Clark. After the emotional turbulence of the previous days, being with my grandson offered a much-needed respite. Clark, my delightful 15-month-old grandson, embodies the joy and innocence that brings balance to life’s heavier moments. His laughter and simple joys are a reminder of life’s beauty despite its trials.

During our time together, I found solace in the normalcy and comfort of preparing meals, a grounding activity that also helped me ready myself for the upcoming travel to Manitoulin Island. Unfortunately, due to the demands of my travel schedule, I missed our usual Wednesday together, a day I cherish deeply. These missed moments are felt profoundly, yet they make the times we do share even more precious.

For those who might not yet know, Clark is the son of my youngest child. My relationship with his mother, Brooklyn, is harmonious, which beautifully complements my involvement in Clark’s life. This harmony within our family dynamic allows me to make the most of every opportunity to be with Clark, nurturing a bond that is as nurturing for me as it is for him.

These moments with Clark serve as a potent reminder of why we strive to improve the world—so that our children and grandchildren can live in a world filled with love and understanding. Despite life’s challenges, our simple pleasures and pure connections with our loved ones keep us anchored, providing strength and motivation to face whatever comes next.

By Monday, as I prepared for the next leg of my journey to Manitoulin Island, the situation took a sorrowful turn; the young man was found deceased. The news reached me just as I was setting out, casting a pall over my journey. Throughout the drive to Manitoulin Island, tears were my constant companions. The sorrow was not just for the young man and his family but also for Cam’s Mom. My heart ached for her, knowing too well the depth of grief that such a loss. The drive became a time of mourning, not only for the young man but also a revisiting of the grief for Cam and the collective heartaches of our community.

Until my next weekly whispers, I cherish these shared moments and look forward to more stories and teachings that we will explore together.

Meegwich for joining me on this heartfelt journey.

If you are interested to read more of my weekly adventures, feel free to visit our blogs.

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Talk Soon,

Geegado Megwan Kwe

aka Rollie xoxo

Rollie Allaire
Holistic Life and Wellness Coach
Geegado Megwan Kwe
(Spirit Name - Talking Feather Woman)

Email: info@rollieallaire.ca
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