Copyright 2011 by Leslie Varsava. All rights reserved.

This poem and quilt were inspired by my love for Lake Simcoe,  which is suffering from the impacts of human activity. I incorporated First Nations’ symbols and teachings. The loon represents our dreams becoming reality, our wishes coming to the surface. The birch is associated with the renewal moon and knowledge of lost wisdom. The water lily is symbolic of rebirth, of overcoming hard times. The upside down triangles represent both woman (me) and water.

I ache with pain
As you struggle through our thoughtless assault.
Though diamonds glisten on your surface
The ugliness of our waste lurks within.
The haunting cry of loons
Reminds me of times past
Of natural abundance, your children rejoicing in the dance of life
And strangely, I feel hope.
Water lilies rise from the murky depths to bloom beautifully in the sun
And I am reminded that darkness can be overcome.
“Listen,” rustle the birch leaves
“Renewal is possible
If we return to ancient wisdom.
Mitakuye Oyasin – we are all related.”
And then I understand.
Your pain is my pain.
We are one.