One hundred eighty five years ago (about), a small farm house was built 2 k from the Kaniatarowanenneh (Mohawk) River. The St. Lawrence River, as renamed by Jacques Cartier, is, by any measure, one of North America’s greatest waterways. The Iroquois peoples, for whom the Mohawk were the “keepers of the eastern door”, inhabited this region for thousands of years until the violence of the American Revolutionary War displaced the native people from their homes. Gradually, European fieldstone houses began to replace the Iroquoian longhouses. My friend John acquired one of these small stone structures adding a splendid glassed-in sitting room at the back and a handsome verandah on two sides.
For about twenty years now, I have traveled from Australia annually to spend time with John, and his partner Blake, in this extremely happy setting. Sometimes I come for the autumn colour and sometimes for the spring wildflowers. Sometimes I experience moments that seem to bring to mind the Mohawk whose absence in the little European communities along the river seems almost complete, although the stereotypes of haircuts and cannibals and fierce warriors still flourish.
Furthermore, many of the Mohawk workers that raised the spire on the new 1 World Trade Center live along the St. Lawrence. Their names include John McGowan, Preston Horn, Adam Cross, Randy Jacobs, Joe Flo McComber, Tyler McComber, Louie Cross, Marvin and Keith Brown. Most, apparently, live in Kahnawà:ke, a major Mohawk village near Montreal, but also there is Peter Jacobs from Akwesasne, and Turhan Clause, a Tuscarora living in Onondaga.
Occasionally, my friend John and I reminisce about old times in Montreal and other places we have known together. Then we resume our separate lives.
Leaving the party at dusk
Yesterday in Brockville we went quilt hunting. I chose this one. Lovingly hand made in the 1930s.
The clutter of beguile
Did I mention Daylilies?
Found Art (from an old barn)
On the banks of the mile-wide Saint Lawrence, over a thousand miles before it flows into the Atlantic.
This traditional quilt, pretty old, grows on me every time I look at it. Love the dark side.