Rock Creek Riverfest was hosted again by Discover Rock Creek last Saturday in conjunction with the weekly market beside Rags, Relics and Rutabagas.
The river was blessed by Reverend Cathy Straume in a ceremony at 10 a.m.
“Come Spirit come, be a new reality. Your love is guarantee of life alive in me.”
Looking to the east, south, west, north and centre, she thanked the “Great Spirit for the river of life that flows through these lands long before the two-legged walked here. May we bless this river with our lives. May we keep our Kettle River safe. May we protect and care for her from our oldest to our youngest. All life is sacred and our river is sacred and the source of much life.
“Great Spirit come to us with wisdom and centre us to live lives that are pure and clean, refreshing that we may be as this river. May we never forget or take for granted the value of the Kettle River.”
Following the blessing live music was provided by Swampin’ Tom Boundary Bluegrass (aka Tom Kruk) and Rex Martin.
Oliver Fire Chief Dan Skaros had planned to be on hand to present some educational talks about rattlesnakes but had phoned to say he couldn’t find a rattler to bring up this year so he had to cancel.
But if people wanted to talk rattlesnakes, Pat Pownall had lots to say and show, including a dead baby rattler that you could see.
“Knowing about snakes is pretty important because we do have a lot of them around here,” Pownall said.
The market boasted over two-dozen vendors and local a prospector known only as Cliff was present with his gold panning demonstration. There was even a fishpond for the little kids.
Today we celebrate and give thanks for the life of the Kettle River. And so, in native tradition, I invite you first to look to the East. As we look Eastward we see the place of new beginnings, of new life; the place of first light–dawn. Great Spirit, you bring forth new life and growth . . . birth. You birth beauty all around. Our river awakens from a long sleep. Sometimes stretching outside her banks, changing direction, finding new ways. Sometimes fierce, undependable and so we understand about life. Bless our lovely Kettle River.
Now we turn South to summer. We respect our ancestors and all our relations that come from the South. As herds return and the sun is high, the waters of our river flow and our crops flourish. Flowers and grains blossom and our six-legged friends feed the fish and other swimming things in our great river. Great Spirit, you bless us in water and the waters flow through us and become one with us. Great River, we are blessed and we bless you.
Now we look West to the place of Fall. The time of gathering, time of preparation. Oh Great Spirit give us wisdom and energy that we may learn what is passed down from our elders. That we may harvest. We thank you for all you provide and store away. We play in the great river. We cool ourselves, grandparents and children. Everyone be blessed by the river as we bless her back.
And so we look North to the place of Winter. We look to our ancestors and to the time of isolation. Where ideas and dreams take shape, where seeds sleep and stories are told. We come to our river under snow, still moving, ever moving, ever alive. Great Spirit you keep us safe. All is quiet. But we still hear our river, sometimes snapping and cracking as the cold winds blow.
Now we look to the centre. We look in and we look up. We see all that we know that is sacred. Great Spirit we thank you for the river of life that flows through these lands long before the two-legged walked here. May we bless this river with our lives. May we keep our Kettle River safe. May we protect and care for her from our oldest to our youngest. All life is sacred and our river is sacred and the source of much life.
Great Spirit come to us with wisdom and centre us to live lives that are pure and clean, refreshing us that we may be pure
— Reverend Cathy Straume —