The earth rises up in smooth grass covered mounds. Concentric circles, one within the other, mark the edge of a settlement. The outer rim was built first. Trees cut from the surrounding forest were bolstered with the blood of the earth to strengthen the guardian arms of the village. The second followed at some indeterminate time, a twin embrace identical in height and appearance. Dual breaks mark the path of a stream that danced through this place, waters now 400 years barren and dry. The bright sun of an October day shines down upon a world that was abandoned before the trees that now grace this land were even thought of. This was once a dwelling place of the Attiwandaron people.
The sky that spreads out above this modern day earth also sheltered the longhouses and fields of a people lost to sorrow and time. The beauty of the day gives lie to the history of the land. Little remains of the Attiwandaron people who worked this land and lived out their lives in these verdant fields. The Attiwandaronks and the Aztecs breathed the same air. While stone eulogizes the life of the later only mounds of earth and the detritus of daily life recorded in shards of pottery, flint and bone remembers the faces of this northern tribe.
The russets of autumn stains the bowering leaves above and below. A hand’s breadth over a decade marks the stain of a life left broken and empty upon the hidden swell of sweet green grass. The elders gathered in this ancient place to heal what they could. A blessing and the hope for rest were sought but no concrete closure could be gained by way of The Releasing of The spirit ceremony. Does she linger here still, her life leeched into the flesh, the bones, and the blood of this place? Hope demands that she rides the wind, free at last from the demons that shadowed every second, every hour, every day of her earthly time.
The land of the Attiwandaron Nation once stretched from Kent County to the Niagara Peninsula. History records this tribe as the first permanent residents and farmers. They’re gone now. What was not destroyed or assimilated was scattered to the wind.
Refusing to yield the full tale of its journey the mute earth lays in terrible beauty quiescent beneath an autumnal sky. The ageless wind teases a distant whisper barely discernible as it intertwines within the rustle of leaves. The mysteries of time are here for all to see but the knowledge is coded in an unknown language with no Rosetta stone to provide the key.