The Last People XXXIV – Traditions

Canada and More 224

As they pulled into the lane of their farm, Jeremiah got out to open the two sets of gates, when Miriam’s phone buzzed with a message. Since everyone that she knew well was in the van, it had to be Roger in France, or…..it was…..and it was from Anuniaq, in Northern Quebec! She began reading Anuniaq’s message in French, while Jeremiah was finishing the second gate. She became so excited, she yelled out the window, “Jeremiah come quick!”

When he leaned in to the open window of the van, Miriam explained, “Anuniaq is coming to the farm, and he is bringing someone with him!” “You mean they’re coming here??”, Jeremiah was astonished. Miriam said yes and Jeremiah asked, “Won’t they get stuck in the snow?” “If they don’t get stuck in the snow coming down here – what about on the way back?” Miriam had already dismissed his question, and said, “He won’t get stuck Jeremiah, because he is driving a commercial snow plow!”

It was three days later when they heard the roar of a large diesel coming down Stevenson Lane. They had a habit of keeping a few windows open, to take in the crisp fall air, but only during the day. The diesel was sounding like the 18 wheelers they used to hear so often.

It was a Friday and they were all preparing for the Sabbath meal. Jennifer loved these times, and was hoping Miriam would teach her the prayers someday soon. She loved the language and the tradition, and was dreaming of doing the same, whenever she had her own place again. She was beginning to think of having a family, maybe even more than baby Jacob, and herself. She believed now that her boyfriend Jacob would have wanted that for her. She admired the candle holders, as she placed them on the table, and placed the candles in each one.

Miriam was hoping that Jeremiah would pull out of the slump he was in. He had been sulking ever since he heard the news about some of the Inuit coming, but he wouldn’t tell her what it was about. Privately, he was worried about being behind schedule for getting ready for winter. The Kentucky trip had taken up several days, even though it was needed, and now he was certain the visitors from Quebec would take up even more of their time. And besides all that, the house was too crowded!

His mood changed dramatically when he saw Anuniaq get out of the huge snow plow, and then help the passenger down from the cab of the truck. They all rushed out of the house to meet them. Anuniaq spoke French mostly to Miriam, after his initial shock at how tall she was. He was about 30 years old, with a strong, quiet looking face. He introduced his passenger as Anhah. She was a short, older woman with long, flowing, silver-gray hair. Her face showed the wrinkles of having survived many rough years, and yet the all joys, and cultural strength of the Inuit. Her eyes sparkled with life. Jeremiah noticed immediately that these two were filled with peace, and they were gentle spirits.

As they all sat around the Sabbath dinner table, Miriam covered her head and began chanting the prayers so familiar to the Pennsylvania survivors. She was singing as she lit the candles, and the words in Amharic were welcoming the Sabbath. Jeremiah joined in for some it and Jennifer too, when she remembered the words. Cathy and Cory were smiling ear to ear, loving the sounds of the languages.

Miriam also sang the same prayers in French, for their guests that night. Their eyes teared up with the sheer beauty of the moment. Unexpectedly Anhah began singing in her Inuit dialect. Everyone was stunned, especially when they heard the translation:

Oh Great One, Oh Great One

We thank You for this food, for this food,

Give us the strength, to hunt and fish again,

And in this place, to gather in the food,

Oh Great One, Oh Great One

No one said a word after they heard this. They just soaked in the beauty. One thing was for certain though…….. life on planet earth was becoming more beautiful all the time.

      

Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Peace and blessings to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

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