Watching – Sarah Dixon

 (Photo assignment : students were asked to choose a photograph and explain why it has special significance to them)

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One of my favorite experiences on the Chinook project occurred when we stole some time on the last day to take advantage of the beauty and local surroundings in Rigolet. It was a gorgeous morning to stroll on the second longest boardwalk in the world. As I walked along, I came upon a couple of Inukshuit – markers of those who have travelled these paths before. The one in the image was offset from the boardwalk set a top a large boulder overlooking the bay. It was not hard to find; just required a momentary divergence from the original route. It made me wonder who built it – was it recent? Had it been there for years? Did the same person or persons who built this one build the one at the top of the cliff – a grander and nobler resting place.

What caught my attention with this Inukshuk was that it sat on a little rocky peninsula overlooking the water. It was a perfect spot to welcome visitors coming from the sea and to keep an “eye” on its little community at the same time. Yet it was also a solitary place about a half mile from the town, away from the trail with the waves quietly lapping at its edges. What a wonderful place to rest – along the watery shore, taking in the salty air, and maybe falling asleep under the warm sun. Yet as I stood next this granite sentinel, appreciating the stark beauty of my surroundings, I could slowly feel the remoteness seeping in. It was so still and absent of activity – just waves rocking, the rustle of trees in the wind, and occasional bird. I scurried back to the path, glad for my quiet respite, but thankful that it was not overstayed. The stony sentry will be a reminder of those braver souls who ventured here and found comfort in that peaceful solitude.

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