Paul and Sarah – Before They Left

Summer                                                           Under the Lily Moon

Over to the area of Lake Calhoun near the Bakken Museum today.   The lake had people biking, running, exercising, doing yoga, lying on towels.  A busy place with people grabbing the Minnesota summer when it let up from rains.

An open house for Paul and Sarah Strickland.

Paul and Sarah have a place in a great part of the world, on the St. Croix River, looking across the river the land they see is New Brunswick.  The famous Bay of Fundy is not far from them and the tides there are legendary for their extremes.

Saw Bill and Regina, Warren and Sheryl, Mark Odegard there.  Scott Simpson and Yin were coming as we were leaving.  I came home to get a nap before the drive out to Woodbury.

This part of Woodbury has very upscale homes settled on Wild Canyon Drive and Wild Canyon Trail.  It’s lovely, with mature trees, some elevation and many homes set far back from the road.

The ceremony tonight featured Paul and Sarah and how their friends, their family, the “people who see us” as Sarah said, had connected with them and sustained them through the years.  Warren and Sheryl, Tom and Roxann, Stefan and Lonnie were there representing the Woollies.

I confess to some dis-ease with the Native American cum Mayan slant to the ceremonial part of the evening.  It feels like poaching, taking this and that into a melange that ends up being a little hokey.*  If I put that aside, the evening allowed for time together with Paul and Sarah, a chance to chat with others and a chance to express feelings of loss and connection.

Ross Levin, a financial planner who writes a column for the Star-Tribune was there, as was Eric Utne of Utne Reader fame.  They were part of Paul’s second men’s group, the Outliers.

It was a classic Minnesota summer evening.  A twilight with rosy clouds backlit the St. Paul Cathedral and the Minnesota Capitol Building, framing, as they did, the business center of downtown St. Paul.  The Mississippi reflected back both the darkening blue of the  sky and the rose and gold tints in the sky.

An evening, in the end, of good-byes.

*addendum  I know this may be harsh and in one sense my inclination is to say so be it.  But.  While the frame had questionable elements, the caring and love demonstrated did not.

In that vein I realize that my judgments on these matters may reflect a concept of purity and authenticity too strong for these instances.  Cultural patrimony is always fluid and cultures do absorb and adapt learnings from others all the time.

All of these folks have a genuine spiritual journey on which a Native American sensibility has come to have meaning.  In the end it is not the container but the ancientrail that is important and the ancientrail here is one of love and care for each other and for our mother, the earth.  Blessed be.

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