“ She made broken look beautiful and strong look invincible. She walked with the Universe on her shoulders and made it look like a pair of wings.” – Ariana Dancu
Against faded brick, the cardboard wings lay abandoned, no longer gracing unknown shoulders, the feathers in colours of stop-sign red and navy blue wilting underneath the still smoky sky.
The days of unrelenting smoke and August deep heat number in the double digits now with only one night of rain on the way to wash the taste of woodsmoke from our mouths. I’m still seeking fresher air at our local library where I can find the A/C on and just next to it, disappear into the cool sanctuary of my weekly yoga class, small respites against the ever growing reality of climate change. Even the tourists are struggling to find the spectacular postcard views promised them, their cameras capturing only stagnant, grey haze.
Thankfully, the rain did fall that night, breaking up a stretch of dry days fuelling all those fires up country – the sound of heavy raindrops hitting our bedroom window as I read my book soothing my parched soul and I knew come morning there would be fresh air to breathe, mountains to gaze upon and a cobalt sea to marvel at once again, a reminder to not take the “super natural” vibes of our beautiful city for granted.
There is still a threat of more smoke to come and I find myself drawn to the leafy green spaces that cross my path on my daily travels, the coolness welcoming me into a sylvan embrace. Despite this, it cannot shut out the image of those wayward wings, a symbol of how eager we are to discard our light as feather appendages and accept the status quo, abandoning our authentic selves for the face of a stranger, no longer recognizing ourselves in the mirror – making me realize it’s time to pick up those battered wings, shake off the dust and wear them upon my shoulders vowing to never abandon them again.
A stunning feathered headdress on display at the Museum of Anthropology (Vancouver, B.C.).
A group of colourful Indigenous carvings depicting winged creatures from nature at the Museum of Anthropology (Vancouver, B.C.).
Another beautiful feathered piece on display at the Museum of Anthropology (Vancouver, B.C.).
A beautiful carving depicting an eagle and man by the late artist, Bill Reid on display at the Museum of Anthropology (Vancouver, B.C.).
The subject of this post (being authentic and unafraid to wear our wings) came as a request from my Mom, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!