Drumbeats in The Key of Life

June 29, 2022, Amherst, NS- I found an engaging restaurateur, who was having a birthday, at Bras d’Or View Restaurant, about eight miles west of Highlands Motel. It was worth the drive, as the place reminds me nicely of my favourite spots back in Prescott. The locals in Bras d’Or Village love Vanessa and she returns the sentiment. Breakfast was a heartfelt meal.

Finally connecting with my Miqmak friend, on the south side of the Lake, I headed first to Iona, a small lake port, and got a sense of village life near the Reserve of Eskasoni.

I then headed over to Eskasoni, and inquired at a couple of stores, as to the residence of a Miqmak elder, whose name had been given me by a mutual friend. A young man who overheard the conversation offered to take me to them elder’s home. When the watchdog barked at the young man, I thanked him and he left. The elder came out, asked who I was and sized me up. When I stated my business, he invited me inside and we talked at length, over pie a la mode and tea, about Baha’i matters and life on the Reserve. After some time had passed, he excused himself, to go take care of a work-related matter. His daughter came and dropped off a box of items and two other Baha’is came in and out, while the elder’s wife sat and conversed with us, while doing her own crafts project. In time, my friend A. P. came in and the conversation continued for another two hours or so. The other Baha’is left and A.P. offered to show me Eskasoni’s Baha’i Centre, a few miles away. We went over there and he told me some particulars of how the Centre came to be and how it is being renovated now.

After we thanked our hostess, A.P. and I left, with him guiding me back towards the Canso Causeway, using the backroads. It was a very rewarding day for me, listening to the sometimes complicated views of the Mikmaq and to their Creation stories. As in the United States, and elsewhere in the world where First Nations people and settlers have variously clashed and made efforts at getting along. Nova Scotia has seen a lot of injury and misunderstanding.

Much of this has come from failure to listen, especially on the part of those who do not maintain silence long enough to process the mood of the situation or to observe body language. Promotion of an agenda, above all else, has only built unnecessary walls. Then, there is the manipulation, the abuse of children, adolescents and women, by those who should be trustworthy. The Miqmak, like the Dineh, Hopi, Inde (Apache), Cree, Salish, Inuit and others-even the Beothuk, who are viewed as “extinct”, have earned the right to Truth and Reconciliation-in a real way, not just monetarily, but to be seen as full partners in any community that is theirs by right.

I ended this day by encouraging a young lady who was a new server at Big Stop Restaurant, Aulds Cove, just on the mainland side of Canso Causeway. The meal hit the spot and she did everything right. It was no detriment that she was using cue cards. That shows initiative and the desire to do a job well. Finding a place for the night, I noted that Amherst has a laundromat and car wash, near Comfort Inn, so it’s here that I settled in.

Tomorrow, I will cross southern New Brunswick and return to the United States, after my longest stay outside the country since 2014.

2 thoughts on “Drumbeats in The Key of Life

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