Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Saturday, November 23, 2019

Mine

You can look, but remember who it belongs to . . .
Mountains. Beautiful. Majestic. Snow-capped. Towering.
Noticeable.
I love the mountains. Maybe not as much as my husband, who is a true connoisseur, but why quibble over details?
All my life, I have lived in the 'shadow' of the great Rockies. They were the immovable, dependable wall immediately to the west of us.
Our friends.
Companions.
Source of direction.
One distinctive peak, in particular, was familiar to us on the ranch. It was our nearest neighbour in the immense range. A huge block of stone, standing alone, with a large, rather squared-off top.
Boy scout troops had been know to clamber to its very summit. Of course, that was in the early days, before danger was invented.
I loved it.
It was my mountain.
I just couldn't remember what it was called . . .
Mom and I were heading toward the ranch.
She was driving.
I was bouncing around in the back seat.
This was before such safety measures as . . . seat belts. Shoulder harnesses.
Discipline.
I had been laying on the back seat, staring up at the roof. Suddenly, I thought of my mountain. I don't know why.
Because.
I sat up and leaned over the front seat. “Mom?”
“Mmm?”
That was her usual response. It didn't necessarily mean that her attention was yours, but it was a start.
“Mom!”
“What, dear.”
Okay, the line was open.
“Where's the Old Indian Hill?”
“The what?”
“The Old Indian Hill.”
She laughed. “Do you mean Old Chief Mountain?”
“Umm, okay.” Whatever. I just knew that the name had something to do with the Aboriginals.
“It's right there, Sweetheart. Straight ahead. When we're driving to the ranch, it's right in front of the road.”
“Oh.”
She was right. There it was. Rising before us in all its purple glory.
Cool.
I stared at it. My mountain.
From then on, whenever we were traveling home, I would look out the windshield for my stalwart, immovable beacon.
My guardian. My defender and protector.
The Blackfoot Tribe called it, Ninastiko.
The Peigans, Minnow Stahkoo.
The white man named it many things.
But, to me, it would always be my beloved 'Old Indian Hill'.

Read the legend! http://www.firstpeople.us/FP-Html-Legends/ChiefMountain-Blackfoot.html

10 comments:

  1. I read the legend of the Mountain. A sad tale. It seems so many places are named for sad events. Probably because so many sad things happen.
    We do get attached to land. How it looks becomes a part of us. When we first built our retirement home the view from the back porch was open and lovely. Of course new homes were built and there was a different feeling. We do adapt.
    I have been without internet service for a few too many days. I will never adapt to NO INTERNET! lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am SO in your camp! We can adapt to most things. But not that!

      Delete
  2. A tragic tale (the Indian chief's not yours).
    Thank you.
    Whatever the name, landmarks do indeed become part of us. A quintessential part.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In Alberta, the powers-that-be generally tear down anything 50 years old and build 'newer and better'. (Their opinion.) The only history we have to hold onto are the things that can't be changed. Like the landmarks. Oh, I'm quite sure they'll try. They've been changing the names of many of them to make them more PC with the modern world. Sigh.

      Delete
  3. EC is right, landmarks become part of us. And the landmarks we love are always anticipated with a light heart when we return to them.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a sad tale. It's chilling. But it's a beautiful mountain. I can understand why you love it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So distinctive! Kinda stands out there all by itself. And thank you for liking it!

      Delete
  5. Such a beautiful place and a sad story to go with it.

    ReplyDelete

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