Personal Reflections

Exploring the Wood River, north of Gravelbourg

SOME OF MY EARLY MEMORIES OF MY YOUTH are exploring the Wood River, north of Gravelbourg, that ran through my grandparents’ farm. Its heavily wooded shore line, steep coulees, high cut-banks and clear water made a lasting impression on me. As I camped and hiked in the area there was always at least one hawk patrolling the skies. I am sure its resonate call was to alert everything in the area that there was an intruder. To assure them that I was not a threat, I would imitate their call; it wasn’t perfect but close enough that they would answer me. “Keeeee-Keeeee-Kaaaa- kaa Ka- Awayieeee.”

Later in my life, when I would go to work on my farm in Arcola I would often be greeted with that same call in the early morning. My love of nature and the land grew as the hawks answered my call and I came to associate a hill west of my farm as “Hawk Hill”. All this I considered to be under the realm of “Mysticism” – the spiritual apprehension of the truths which cannot be understood. When I researched First Nations history in this area I found that there was a family named Kakakaway, and that their name came from the same source, the call of a hawk in flight.