Time keeps on slipping

Xavier use

By Xavier Kataquapit

I have learned a few things in being on this earth for almost five decades and one of them is to live in the moment.

Ever since my partner ended up with a lung disease, I have been even more aware of how important it is to savour life, be kind as much as possible and to find joy in the work you do. This is not always easy, but I find it leads to a happier existence.

My mom and dad worked very hard all their lives and had to deal with the affects of colonization, which included residential school horrors, racism, few opportunities for work and very difficult living conditions.

They took comfort in their children and grandchildren, but rarely had time, money or the opportunity to travel to see other parts of Canada. They were still working when they became older and ended up caring for their grandchildren much of the time. They were most happy when surrounded by family.

I recall one summer years ago when my partner and I took mom and dad on a cross-Canada car adventure to the West Coast and back. My parents were very happy to slowly travel along the highway and they pointed out so many Cree names on lakes and rivers as we wound our way along.

I had not realized how obviously we Indigenous people had left this mark on our lands at such a multitude of places across Canada. It made me feel good to realize this proof that bolstered our treaties that were made with our colonizers.

Mom and dad entertained us with stories of my ancestors and of the culture, traditions and the land. They were in awe of the towns, cities and landmarks we passed on our way. As we drove closer to the majestic Rocky Mountains, they realized one of their dreams. What first looked in a distance as simply clouds on the horizon morphed into these beautiful and powerful giants of the land.

In reflecting on that road trip adventure and the many travels I have enjoyed around the world I am reminded of how important it is for all of us to realize that we all will pass at some point and we need to consider pausing our life in work and routine to venture forth and visit this beautiful Mother Earth.

We need to witness our planet’s beauty to really understand that we have to respect our home planet. In travelling the world, we discover other cultures and lands which educates us on the fact that people are the same everywhere on Mother Earth. We all want the same things: We want peace, we want decent lives with enough food, water and shelter for our family and friends, and we want to understand each other so that there are no great conflicts among us.

These days with wars raging in Gaza and the Ukraine we need to realize that there is a history behind these events and most of it has to do with the lust for power, resources and domination. That lust comes from governments, corporations and wealthy billionaires that never send their own children off to fight these wars.

When it comes to people, I know from experience that we all want the same thing, and it has nothing to do with war. We want peace, the capacity to provide well for our families and friends and to care for our planet so that future generations can live and thrive without conflict and in healthy environments of clean air and water. We have been tricked into allowing governments of all kinds to rationalize war and the slaughter of millions of people and the destruction of cities and towns all over our Mother Earth. We need to push back on this insanity.

I urge people to look deeper into the conflicts we are involved in these days, look at the history of the governments involved and what they have been up to since World War II.

If you can manage it, make friends with all different cultures and races that make up our planet to understand that we really are all the same. Rather than wait for retirement to travel when your brain is slower, your muscles weaker and you are aging, do it as soon as you can. Get out there if you can while you are young. Time keeps on slipping.