N-sis-ooloux – Story of a Place

Where water flows and spirals grow.

at UBCO behind the portable between the marsh is a little oasis where corn stalks and sunflowers grow in front of three cut blocks in a row. A few feet in front of the cut blocks are two rows of rock garden. They follow the same arc and spiral together creating a path between for which to walk. Listeners are guided between the two spiral rows, noticing a single deer track and hearing a story of the summer before last when I had been given homework to go out on the land and allow something to find me. From there behind the portable between the marsh, listeners are asked to face north west and look past the University, past the hillside as the crow flies, across Okanagan lake to picture N-sis-ooloux, a creek that meanders through our pasture and cuts the mountain in two. The story continues as I wandered around the pasture by the creek, which in the springtime rages like a tyrant but at the time of recording it trickled faithfully. The cars pass. The summer before last, I walked amongst the young cottonwood, bear berries and tall grass when something on the ground caught my attention. I took photos of what I saw. I looked down and saw it. It was a little white and yellow shell once carried by a snail for shelter. It was an anomaly to me, how did this spiral shell get in the middle of the pasture? It was exactly what I was looking for as it wound its way inward. This shell was in the shape of the rock garden. I found it amongst the tall grasses, similar to the few remaining strands of grain found standing in the rock garden.
That place reminds me of that day and this is the place I will share.

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