As we watch the leaves begin to turn from a glossy green hue to lustrous tones of yellow, purple and gold, it is with delight that we welcome shorter days and cooler evenings and bid adieu to another unforgettable summer season.
Air conditioners are being stored away for another long stay in a dusty attic or storage room, summer wardrobes and sandals are boxed up or given away to Goodwill and sweaters and light jackets are brought out of hiding for the cloudy days ahead. Quilts are brought back into the living room for families to bundle up under while enjoying the new season of their favourite TV shows. Firewood is chopped and stacked on the porch for easy access on those especially chilly nights that call for a cozy fire in the wood stove.
Autumn is here and we must celebrate the changing of seasons in an age-old tradition of comfortably settling in for quiet evenings accompanied by a big bowl of tswan (wind-dried salmon) soup, bannock and a steaming cup of herbal tea.
Inevitably, we continue navigating along this highway called Life entering another autumn season and we are so grateful to be surrounded by what this bountiful season offers:
Blooming and fruiting gardens all ready for harvesting and preserving
Sockeye salmon thriving in the Birkenhead River (Literally jumping out of the water)
Gorgeous foliage draped in tones and hues of autumnal splendour (Perfect for those memory-making pencil etchings)
Vivid autumn sunsets in glorious shades of pink in an indigo sky
Aromatic plumes of smoke wafting from chimneys (I personally love the smell of a wood fire)
Albert Camus said it best when he declared: “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”
Lil’wat Territory’s very own Xet’olacw Community School is back in session for another school year and have already trekked the grad students off on a “Supercourse” for a journey up and over the splendid Stein Valley.
While many parents have gleefully ventured south on the annual back-to-school shopping expeditions, their children have woefully given in to the regulating their routine of earlier bedtimes and even earlier mornings. The big, yellow school buses have taken over the road for the better part of each morning’s rush hour as children stand in their driveways waiting to board and make their way to higher learning.
With a smile on my face and tears in my eyes, I have bitter-sweetly sent my son off on his first school-bus ride to begin Nursery school. They grow up so fast, sometimes too fast for our liking. Alas, we must let them enjoy the spring of their youth while we are quite comfortably settled into the autumn of our adulthood. Inevitably, we give in to their cries of freedom and independence that they all eventually declare, and we do all we can to keep them as young as possible much to their detriment and resistance. From the first day of school to walking the stage on graduation day, we enjoy every minute of every day… while they let us, that is.
Many parents will have the opportunity to enjoy some time with their children this coming Friday at Xet’olacw’s annual Salmon BBQ at Lil’wat Place. This tradition is a celebration of the return of the salmon each year as well as a celebration of the return of the students; it is always memorable and enjoyable as a day very well spent. The best part of the day for students is a day spent outside of the classroom setting during what still can be considered summer ... and for the parents (if they can take off of work) it is spending a day of celebration with your child, as well as a day of socializing with friends, family and dear ones. A terrific day for all!