Rita Walker (Blog Thirteen):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker (Blog Thirteen):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

The type of soil and climate found in a particular area will determine what plants will grow best in that location.  In Brantford the soil is mostly Luvisolic:  a mixture of clay, silt, and sand.  Clayey Gleysolic and Gray Brown Luvisolic are the main soils with the major crops being corn, soy, and tobacco.

https://soilsofcanada.ca/

http://ecozones.ca/english/region/135.html

https://www.gardenguides.com/128379-types-soil-ontario.html

https://soilsofcanada.ca/orders/luvisolic.php

https://www.thespruce.com/what-is-loam-1401908

 

Rita looks up at the students in her class and sighs.  She counts sixteen students and only one of the five she expected.  As she met each of the Ancients, though she only saw Rae, they gave her the ability to see an aura on the very rare occasion her path connected with another elemental’s.  She sees a blue hue around a tall man with dark dreadlocks and trimmed beard.  “Water,” she whispers.  His head tilts to the side as she speaks the word and she knows he has heard her.

“Soil is composed of many different chemicals and organisms.  The type of each is determined by the composition of the minerals in a given area.  Wind blows soil and glaciers move large chunks of it.  And what else is soil?   It is the by-product of death and waste.  When leaves die and fall off a tree or as plants wither and decay they decompose—into soil.    Whatever your body doesn’t use must come out as waste products.  In the natural pattern everything dies and everything is used to help the growth of life.”

“We’re going to focus on the soil in Brantford.”    Rita moves to the side of large screen behind her and clicks a button on a remote.  An image of Canada with multiple colours appears representing the different soil types and where they are located.  She uses the pointer of the remote and points a red dot to the area where Brantford is on the map.  “The yellow represents Luvisolic soil.  Glaciers pulverized the soil so that the dominant minerals are calcium and magnesium leaving the top soil as predominantly loamy or clay.  Loamy soil is a mixture of clay, silt, and sand.  Clay and silt help keep in the water while sand creates gaps for better root growth.

“Farmers use both cattle and human manure to fertile the soil.  That will be our next lecture.  Are there any questions?”

The man with the blue aura raises his hand.

“Yes?” Rita asks.

“What happens when the soil is polluted?” he asks in a voice that is both soft and deep, “and what about soil microorganisms?”

“That’s coming up in future lectures Mr.?”

Rita Walker (Blog Twelve):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker (Blog Twelve):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

The Haida like so many other indigenous people had their children removed to learn European ways.  Midnight Oil made it clear that Australia’s treatment of indigenous people was a disgrace during the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia by wearing black coveralls with the word Sorry.  Nature has a way of diffusing the thought that any people are better than others when people of different races and backgrounds fall in love and have children.   People have different hair colour, skin colour, eye colour, physiques and yet are all the same.

https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/haida-native-group

https://www.songfacts.com/facts/midnight-oil/beds-are-burning

https://petergarrett.com.au/biography/

https://www.mohawkcollege.ca/about/campuses/six-nations-polytechnic-brantford-sb

Rita places the potted weeping willow branch into the back of her car.  With loving care she hopes it will grow.  Either in the fall or in the spring she will plant it on the schools lawn.

Midnight Oil’s “Beds Are Burning” is playing on the radio as Rita drives to the Six Nations’ Polytechnic College to organize her classroom.   She taps her fingers on the steering wheel as she sings “The time has come, a fact’s a fact/ It belongs to them, let’s give it back” along with the band’s lead singer Peter Garrett.   She read an article that at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney the band members performed with the word SORRY written across the chest of their black coveralls.  It was a blatant rebuttal of the Prime Minister at the time, John Howard, for his refusal to apologize for the former policy of removing aboriginal children from their families.  After reading the article Rita realized this destruction of aboriginal families happened all around the world, not just in Canada.  The song reminds her of how hard it is for her to keep positive.  But the world already knows about all the atrocities.  Now it’s time for everyone to focus on working together.  It’s time to show that those who were bullied are wiser and will not become the bullies.

She doesn’t think there are any songs that represent her, a half breed or multi-raced person.  Then she recalls hearing Cher singing “Half Breed” written by Mary Dean and composed by Al Capps.  She wonders, if like so many other songs and writings, did the lyricist really understand what it’s like to be a “half breed”?  Do they know what it’s like to find out one half of your ancestry was warring or abusing the other half?  She shakes her head to clear the negative thoughts away.

Sometimes life is strange.  As she pulls into the college Depeche Mode’s “People are People” comes on.  She pulls over and sings along with the band:  “It’s obvious you hate me/Though I’ve done nothing wrong/I never even met you/So what could I have done”.  Well, next week she’s about to meet four individuals who represent a hidden race of humans.  And she needs to figure out how to get them to work together.  One will be the hardest to change.  And one probably won’t want to collaborate with the others.

Inside the classroom she feels small standing at the bottom of the sloping floor gazing up at the desks that will allow the students to look down on her.  She set the potted willow on the ledge of the windows at the opposite side to the door.  Next she takes out her papers.  The first of the lessons will focus on the different soils found in different areas of Ontario and what’s being done to keep them healthy.

Rita Walker (Blog One):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker (Blog One):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

This is a new blog and although it is under the fantasy/science fiction genre we will be adding current technology that is environmentally friendly.

 

Rita usually prefers to walk or lope but today her time is short and the distance long so she’s taking an electric sea plane from Graham Island across the Hecate Strait to the Prince George airport. From there she’ll take a flight to Toronto.

At the Toronto Airport Rita rents a Volkswagen e-Golf. As she drives along the 401 Hwy towards the 403 on her way to the Six Nations Polytechnic Brantford Campus she stares in the rear-view mirror. Her shoulder length hair is light brown. She sighs, normally it would be an iridescent pearl white but she doesn’t want to be noticed right now. On the radio she hears Buffy Sainte-Marie sing “The Big Ones Get Away”. She sings along with Buffy realizing how important the song is but it is not the one she wants to write. The World is full of chaos and distrust and she wants to shine a light of hope through the madness.  To discover what is being done positively on Earth and showcase it.

As she arrives at the school she gets out of the e-Golf and stares at the curved entrance. In the centre is sign that is white with the outline of a purple eagle whose wings encircle opposing thick lined triangles with thin lined ones. In the centre is a purple coniferous tree.

As she steps through the front doors she is greeted by a secretary behind a newly refinished counter made of hemp. The secretary glances at her left arm and nods.