At birth the journey here creates the traveler, the invisible becomes visible”

                                                                                    John O’Donohue

Pregnant with me, but not due for another 6 weeks, my mother was enjoying time with my father, my 9 month old brother and friends up at the lake – Waskesiu – when her water broke unexpectedly around 10 pm. The only highway in and out of the park back then was the 263 – just under 2 hours drive to the nearest hospital in Prince Albert.  Anyone who has driven that road, can imagine that the drive – in my father’s brand new ’57 Ford Mercury – would have been hair raising!  The 263 is legendary for its twists and turns, tree tunnels and longviews, hilly terrain and open plateaus with wildlife roaming freely!
Technically, I was born at the Holy Family hospital in PA, just after midnight on the Monday of the May long weekend, 1957….an epic entrance!

It is as though that drive is imprinted, deeply embedded in my memory –
a memory not remembered – instead I feel it – an emotional memory –
a resonance drawing me back to the beginning ….
trying to re – member –  put together – connect
trying to re – call  – call back – the initial impulse to move – to explore – to journey –

A few years later my father moved us from Waskesiu to Emma Lake – still off the 263 – where we spent time every summer – and from PA to Calgary, where in spite of the distance, the lake was always there, home away from home.

My connection to this geography has always intrigued me, it’s as though the roots of me were planted there and no matter where I wander, I am there.

Louise Pagé

Okori

 

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