Throughout the Arctic, in Northern Canada, Alaska and Greenland, there are many stone cairns dotted along the natural landscape called Inukshuk (or Inuksuk). For the Inuit people of the Arctic, these stone cairns served many purposes in ancient times. They were, in effect, some of the earliest “road signs,” alerting travelers which way to find food, a reference for travel routes, a message that someone had been there, a change in direction, where to find hunting areas, etc.
One type of Inukshuk, the Inunnguaq, is a human figure-shaped cairn of rocks. There are approximately one hundred of these human-shaped cairns over two thousand years old and are still standing at the Inuksuk National Historic Site on Fox Peninsula ( Baffin Island) in Canada. Some of these figures are six to seven feet tall, a formidable sight.
While these figures may have originally been a reference for travel routes, they remind us today of many things. These figures were carefully crafted of numerous rocks delicately balanced one on top of each other. Each rock supports and is supported by the rock above it and below it, and this balance reminds us of the need for balance in our own lives at this very moment, as we navigate through the new waters of this Covid pandemic. Each piece of the Inuskshuk is as important as the piece above and below it. These cairns have also been associated with hope and friendship as well.
The Inunnguaq reminds us today that we will find out way through this pandemic, no matter how long it takes us. The Inunnguaq also reminds us of the need for team work and the importance of community in this journey as well. May you never lose your path and may you always find your way home.
Life is good; carpe diem friends………