Big Rock Settler:
Poems for Ekarenniondi
Drawing by Melanie Craig-Hansford
How can I say
off the Rock?
Big Rock, Settler: Poems for Ekarenniondi
The first full length poetry manuscript is complete and is off, looking for an interested publisher.
An excerpt from Big Rock Settler: Poems for Ekarenniondi
At the edge of the Niagara Escarpment a great pillar of dolomite stands out. The Wendat people who lived here 400 years ago called the rock and the area around it, Ekarenniondi. The name translates as `here a rock extends’.
Wendat people told 17th century missionaries that Ekarenniondi is a sacred place, an important place - entrance to the Village of Souls, the place where all souls go after death. The rock was also called Oscotaroch, which means `the one who pierces skulls’,the one who clears the minds of those about to die, so they can leave this life with no regrets.
These are not my stories. They belong with the descendants of Wendat people who once lived here and who were forcibly dispersed over many years to many places from all the way from Quebec to Kansas and Oklahoma where the Wyandot and Wyandotte Nations now reside.
What is my story is that I lived here,for nearly a decade unaware of the great Rock, and its importance. Meanwhile the Big Rock watched over the forests and fields at the base of the Scarp, over the waters now called Georgian Bay, over the town where I live, and, as I went about my days, over me.
Who am I, that I did not know? How could that happen?
 The Rock stands within property owned by Scenic Caves Nature Adventures (https://sceniccaves.com.)