On the drive back to Calgary, I stopped just fifteen minutes north of my home in Saskatchewan in order to take a number of photographs of these three young moose who were in a field near some farm ruins I have often photographed. The early morning light made it difficult to get the photograph I wanted but in the end, I simply was satisfied to stand outside, quite close and just watch them as they watched me. There is no doubt that they knew I was there as I wasn’t hidden by anything and the wind ways blowing toward them carrying my human scent. It was a magical moment.
As I got back into my car and continued on my return journey, I thought of these magnificent animals and had a first impression that they were telling me something important, something about wandering off the beaten track. I thought of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage and wandering. These three moose suggested to me that I should make it a long pilgrimage wandering through England, France and the famed Way of St. James.
The three moose also symbolized for me, the Trinity of my childhood and youth in which Catholicism was an important part – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I have lost almost everything that had to do with my religious roots, mostly at the hands of pedophile priests. But, I didn’t lose everything – the spiritual dimension remained. Wandering through old cathedrals has continued to evoke a sense of awe, of the numinous that transcends time and place.
Perhaps, more importantly, was the motivation to wander (read walk) here in Calgary. I need to walk longer, walk faster in an attempt to improve my physical fitness levels. I am a gypsy in terms of finding it difficult to stay in one place. I did manage to stay in one place while my children started and finished their schooling. Before and after this interlude of twenty years, I have always been wandering; even as a child as we followed the wanderings of my father. Who knows what the future holds in store?