A Poor Lost Little Sign

I apologize to anyone who holds very dearly to Saskatchewan, to those who love it, or call it home. I enjoy Saskatchewan a lot myself, but I seem to enjoy it a great deal less when I have to drive anywhere in it for any length of time. Last month I found myself driving alone to Lumsden, Saskatchewan to help out at a camp for two weeks (those who have read some of my earlier blogs will have heard about some of my experiences there already).

What I wanted to share here, though, for all who would like to enjoy it, is something I drove past on my way to camp. As I was driving along, I passed a sign that read ‘point of interest’, indicating that this point was somewhere left of the highway, down a smaller country road. Naturally, I was a little intrigued, and and strained my eyes down this road to see this ‘point of interest’. In fact, this interesting place was so interesting to me that I took a picture of it as I drove by, which I share here for you to see.

photo copy

Yes, for those confused, this is the ‘point of interest’. I’m not quite sure why or to whom this would at all be interesting, but remember, this is Saskatchewan. I suppose maybe for some, the sight of another green and yellow field would be very interesting – especially if they happened to have their eyes closed for the past seven hours of travel as they passed by field after field, just like it. Or perhaps it’s a ploy to make people think twice about the monotony of fields they see – to trick those who haven’t been paying attention into believing that this may just have been the first field they’ve seen in the hundreds of kilometers they have already travelled.

Whatever reason the sign has for being there, I think it is lost. But I don’t blame the sightless sign. Poor thing, facing the road the way it is, one can’t expect it to know the emptiness that it advertises. It may never have been turned around to see the view for itself. Perhaps it has never travelled in his life and hasn’t seen that by the time people reach it, they have had their fill of green flatness – they’ve had enough. Perhaps this little sign has been fed a lie. Lost and sightless as it is, it simply stands, like a blind prophet, trying to communicate with the busy stream of traffic that hurdles on by – alone, voiceless and misunderstood. I don’t blame the sign; I pity it.

Prairie Rainstorms

Lately I seem to go for bike rides at the strangest times. I find with the long summer days, when daylight lasts until 10:30 at night, my perception of the day is often different than it would be normally. Instead I find myself setting out on a bike ride at 10 pm, thinking to enjoy a quick half hour of sunlight with some twilight as well. But, what would have appalled my grandparents more than the lateness of my trip would probably be the fact that I left the house in a black t-shirt and shorts with no helmet as well. It struck me as funny that I had just happened to be wearing all black when I left, but being too lazy to go back and change, I set out all the same.

As I left, dark thunderclouds loomed over the West side of town, bursting with brilliant flashes of lighting. I could feel the winds picking up, blowing the cool night air past me, as the smell of oncoming rain filled the air. It reminded me of Murree and the nights when I would lie awake watching the clouds pour over the hilltops as they boomed and crashed, shaking the windows in their frames. This night, as I rode, gazing at the sky beside me I just wanted the sky to break loose. “Give me a real good storm”, I prayed, as I caught myself again spending too much time looking at the sky and not enough looking at the path below me that was getting darker by the minute.

Our town was wrapping up the week of its annual Westerner Days fair, and as I rode past the park where the events had been held for the day, I was met by all kinds of people walking back to the cars, or getting on buses, hurrying to beat the darkness and the oncoming rain. Then, turning back toward town I coasted through quiet neighborhoods and shut up houses, as the sky threw a bluish-purple light over the streets with its streaks of lightning. Only as I started to turn home did the drops of rain begin to fall, slow and scattered at first, but building in time. Thankfully I wasn’t far from home, as very quickly the rain grew harder and harder, though still sparse. In fact, I had reached my neighborhood with little more than a drop on myself, though I could hear them landing all around me on the road and roofs of the houses. Then, just before my street I had the pleasure of having a marble size drop of hail hit me right on my head, stinging like a rock. I made it the rest of the way, holding one hand over head and eyes as I pulled into the driveway, moments before the clouds burst.

By the time I had gotten inside after leaving my bike in the garage, rain was showering down from above. I kept all the house lights off. I could see the sky better that way, and I watched as huge trees nearby bent over in the wind. Occasional lightning would light up the whole backyard to reveal the thousands of drops that filled the sky and the grass that that glistened in the dark.

A prairie storm isn’t quite the same as a monsoon storm in Pakistan, but I felt that night that God made sure it got pretty close – close enough enough for me. And that evening I lay in my bed and listened the the rain continue to drench the earth below, and fell asleep happy.