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On Trails and the Sunrise Ceremony

Updated on August 19, 2011

About a couple of months ago, I went for my second time to a pow-wow on an Ojibwa Reserve where a friend is from. Having been there before, I felt a little more comfortable this time ... so comfortable in fact that I made my Volkswagen air-born by flying-off a sort of speed-bump, on a gravel road and smashed my oil panel underneath the engine to bits.

I think getting stuck there for a few extra days was great though. For many reasons: I learned a lot; even about changing oil panels when the new part arrived. The most important thing that I learned that week-end, or that was stressed-out for me was during the Sunrise Ceremony, on the second day of the pow-wow.

I had stayed-up during the night with the fire keeper and just chatted, watching the Sacred Fire (see my blog titled "A Trip to a Native Reserve" for photos) and then, at about six o'clock in the morning some people started showing-up. I had no clue what was happening and I was actually not ready for any more people joining, since I was feeling pretty crusty (no sleep, food, etc.).

More people did show-up though. At least seven or so others, including the chief. When I asked the fire keeper what was going on, he told me that the chief would perform the "Sunrise Ceremony". I thought about pulling out my notebook and a pen (I always carry a backpack somewhere close to me) - I wanted to take notes but I wasn't sure how people would react so, I dropped that idea. Perhaps next year.

The ceremony was quite impressive. I would say that the chief talked about what is really important in life: that we appreciate life, each day; that we walk on the good road and are thankful for everything. Everyone took turns in saying something, in getting smudged and that morning has stayed very close to my heart ever since.

I try to give thanks every day now for having another day and for everything that is. It is difficult. I have always been happy in the morning ... that's me: I jump-up when I wake-up like a spring but I never took the time to be specifically thankful for things such as the Sun rising. I am thankful for that though and I try to think about it more often.

The photographs attached to this blog are from my morning walks in British Columbia and Alberta. I like to go for a walk when I wake-up in the forest or close to one. It comes after the brushing of teeth: I just walk wherever my eyes point and then, sometimes I point the camera and shoot. These are such photos.

Thank you for stopping by. Cheers!


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    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      8 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Thank You for the visit, Mr. Eric Dierker! I love mornings myself: a new beginning, new opportunities, etc.

      I am happy You enjoyed the read.


    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      8 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Oh, how many mornings I have just tumbled into my boots and let them guide me into nature. Thank you for a wonderful hub.

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I am happy you stopped by! Thank you for giving my blog a try. I do indeed love Nature - I find it peaceful and it makes me happy. I try to share that feeling through some of my photographs.

      Thank you for your comment! All the best.

    • Karen Graham profile image

      Karen Graham 

      9 years ago from Richmond, Virginia

      I have taken your advice, and I find this Hub to be just beautiful. From the photographs I would say that you appreciate the majesty that is nature, and the beauty. I too can appreciate the solitude of a quiet morning in the woods, the clean smell of the trees, and I can feel the touch of the breeze, likke a gentle caress. Very nice!

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Mrs. McNerthney, your comment may sound cheesy to some people but I find it to be quite truthful. I think we can create a better world by simply doing what you said: "step back for a moment and focus on something that's not so complicated - like nature. Too often are we absorbed in our own problems that we ignore the beauty around us".

      I think that was a great comment. Cheers!

    • Lorna McNerthney profile image

      Lorna McNerthney 

      9 years ago from Paducah, KY

      I really loved this hub, especially because of the pictures. It's always nice to step back for a moment and focus on something that's not so complicated - like nature. Too often are we absorbed in our own problems that we ignore the beauty around us (yes, I know that sounds incredibly cheesy to the point that even I'm cringing).

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Alex ... thanks for stopping by. When did you leave last night? Much to drink after I left? rofl

      Thank you for your comment Mr. Dallas - beginning of what is indeed a great question.

      Mr. Packer, I am not sure what Hopis are but I'll find out. Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment: much appreciated. Cheers!

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Quite interesting on the sunrise ceremony. The Ojibwa are the Hopis in that my opinion. Great pics too.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Beautiful - looks like an awesome spot to watch the sunrise from.

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 

      9 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      Everyday is a new begining... We get to decide "Beginning of "what." Thanks for sharing!

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 

      9 years ago from South Carolina

      I find the best writings happen that way- the piece almost writes itself when the timing is right and you're in "flow" with the information streaming forth onto the paper or computer screen.

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      9 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Hello Kallini, morning could be whenever you wake-up I guess. Thank you for stopping-by.

      Mrs. Paradise7, I am glad you took the time to leave the comments you did (on both of my blogs). Thank you very much.

      Greetings as well Mrs. Happyboomernurse, I am happy you enjoyed my blog. I wanted to write something on the Sunrise Ceremony for about two months now. Today it just happened without any planning. I am thankful for that and for the time you took out of your day to drop-by. Cheers!

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 

      9 years ago from South Carolina

      Beautiful hub and photos reminding us of life's simple pleasures and the wisdom and power of intentional gratitude. I love how all this was clothed in the Objibwa Sunrise Ceremony. Thanks for sharing.

    • Paradise7 profile image


      9 years ago from Upstate New York

      What a great hub! And terrific photos! You have blessed us all with your description of the sunrise ceremony. I wish I was there, too.

    • kallini2010 profile image


      9 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Well, Mr. Happy, now you can devise your own Sunrise Ceremony - I am, though, not a morning person, and getting into the day is a nightmare (or continuation of sleep?)

      I do envy early birds - it seems to be the more natural biological clock - I have my energy peaks during the evenings, so then I don't go to bed early enough and do not have enough sleep and if I don't, then the next day is ruined.

      I need something like that, too. But sometimes I perform my "Sunset Ceremony" - if I happen to catch the sun setting and it is a magnificent view from my windows - especially when the sun is blazing red...

      I should remember as well to be grateful for every day, for every breath...

      Try not to smash parts of your car, though...


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