This is a story my mother told me many years after it occurred.She told it to me when I was 15. It happened when I was three.
Every summer my family would travel to Grand mama's home in St. Augustine Quebec. It was always a great trip through the picturesque Laurentian mountains of southern Quebec. On this particular trip I was three and so have no memory of it, but I remember most of the subsequent trips.
On this trip, as described by my mother, I was fast asleep, my family car maneuvered through the mountainous region. The car hit a bump in the road and I woke up in a daze and started to tell a story to my family with great excitement.
"I know this place, it is my other home. I was a great Chief here with many horses. I protected this land and my people loved me."
Soon after I fell back to sleep. My parents were startled by my statements. How was a three year old boy able to wake up in the middle of nowhere, (actually it was the Lake of Two Mountains), and come up with these concepts?
My parents did some research on Indians that lived in that area and found out it was the home of the Algonquin Indians. It was basically a hub for trading after the white man came to North America.
Flash forward to when I was 18 years old. My dad had passed away from a cancer plagued body at this point. My mother and I were sitting on the side of the bed looking through some old photographs. These were really old, some dating back to 1910.
I saw this picture of a young man and told my mother, "I know this man, who is he?".
"This is your grandfather when he was young", she replied. I only knew my grand father very little as he died when I was young. But this photo was so familiar to me. My mother showed me some more even more amazing photographs of her father, all of them made me feel like I was there at the moment they were shot.
She showed me a picture of my grandfather dressed in an Indian costume with full chieftain headdress. He was riding an Indian motor cycle, the Chieftain model, onto a ramp with a hoop of fire that was placed in front of it.
My mom told me that her father was one of the original founders of the Indian motor cycle company and he was responsible for marketing. At the time I didn't even know what the significance of my grandfather being a founder of Indian Motor Cycles, but I did a few years later. The Indian Motor Cycle Company was wiped out during the second world war because the American Army preferred the American built Harley Davidson for reconnaissance missions.
There was a prevailing shame that developed among Indian people during the earlier years of the 20th century and well into the mid 20th century. especially, if you were a half breed. The French Indian mix less so, within their own communities, but nationally it was taboo!
As a result my Indian heritage was withheld from me, no big deal, it doesn't bother me, but it is fun to trace my roots. I have to live within the context life is dealt to me.
I met my wife in a run down biker's bar that played live music. The night I met her, David Wilcox, then unknown, now well known, was playing that night. As soon as I saw her I knew she was my mate for life. She knew it as well.
Her father is half Golden Lake Indian and half British. He was made to be ashamed of his Indian heritage and denies any relation to them. Not without good reason mind you, they tend to be lazy and drink too much. Not all of them, but it is a problem.
Before my sister died of ALS, she dated a full blooded Algonquin Indian who was the son of a medicine man. While I was having dinner with them she told him of the story of me waking up while driving through the the Lake of Two Mountains.
Ralph, (that was his name), suggested I go to the Lake of Two Mountains and find a secluded place. He told me I will find a rock to sit on. I was not to drink or eat for twenty four hours, just sit an meditate. At some point, he explained, I would start to hallucinate. A bear will come towards me, but I must not be afraid. The bear will give me a message and then leave without harming me.
I have not yet done this and have no intention of ever doing it.
The mind is a powerful tool. Deprivation, starvation and drug inducing can produce amazing results, but it is the imagination that is the catalyst to completing any trip within the human psyche!