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By N/A
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Lifeís periods of despair
discomfort and ailment
are undeniable

for most of us they occur
not frequently
not unrelenting
though at first
they can seem
a permanent paralysis

But they do pass
before and after,
the quiet routine rolls of ease

or we are treated
to the experiences of miracles
waiting like the prize chocolates
in the center of the box
our parents ask us not to touch yet
the last gift unopened lingering
invitingly beneath
the Christmas Tree

God grants all
in the mix of the highs and the lows
the ordeals, gifts and the retreats

The melange of what fate or
or He
presents us with
and protects us from

For the trials
itís good that we cannot see ahead
the pain to come would be twice borne
and anticipated with more fear

Retrospect is better
to which we can apply
our visualization skills
when weíre sick or indisposed
to play back for us our finest times
bring before us the dearest faces
and rich textured landscapes
the laughter and jokes of yesterday
with a hint that on one of these tomorrows,
when strength returns
there will be laughter and creation
and a drawing together with others
with Godís grace
in Godís Time

we pray to God to help our medicine men and women
to help us
and we wait in faith

one morning we will see around the bay of gloom
the canoes returning bright and red
from the camp of souls *
where the Natives of old Ontario
soft-paddled their infirm
to become healed again

The Camp of Souls refers to a Native practice
in Peterborough Ontario and reference to Isabella Valancy Crawford (our first Canadian Poet) in her poem The Camp of Souls, about the taking of the ill by canoe to a healing island or where they will leave this life and find salvation in the next.

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Submitted: Monday, July 1, 2002

Last Updated: Monday, July 1, 2002

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