Today, I set out for an 8 km walk. On the way, a rez dog was charging down the road. It headed straight for me. I did not recognize the mutt and could not tell if it was running from someone or something, or running towards me. So, I picked up a couple of large stones. At that point, the rez mutt went off the road, through the brush past me and on the road. I dropped the stone in my right hand and replaced it with another.
A moment later, Isadore Charters, stopped in his vehicle, rolled his window down, and gave me some encouragement for my weight loss, walking, and running. He told me that I reminded him about the importance of training. He thanked with some very kind remarks.
When I got to the creek, I let the rock go that I was going to use against the rez mutt. When I let go of that rock into the creek, I also let go of fear, doubts, uncertainty, and negativity. I prayed that I would not immediately prepare to fight, but, instead, let events unfold. Situations are not always as they initially appear.
I kept the stone that I had in my hand when Isadore shared his kind words with me. When I arrived at the Soowahlie cemetery, I put the stone down and gave thanks to my late parents for teaching me and preparing me for my life’s work.
As I neared the Vedder Bridge, a cyclist entered the rez. We gave each other the nod. Later, he was cycling up the Cultus Hills and I was jogging. We nodded, gave each other a thumbs up, high fived and carried on. We encouraged one another in our efforts to conquer the Cultus Hills.
Today, at the 3.5 km mark, I began to jog and walk. I did so for three kms and then finished with 1.5 km walk home. It took me 1 hour and twenty-five minutes. My walk today was good medicine for me.
Doug Kelly, Chair, First Nations Health Council