COFFEE WITH WARREN, with Warren Harbeck
The nearly full moon sets behind Rockies along Bow Valley as eastern slopes are bathed in warm glow of rising sun in this photo by Deanna Two Young Men, with words by Warren Harbeck.
Last week’s column featured the quote, “The mountains shall bring peace to the people,” from Psalm 72. Well, peace was certainly what the mountains brought to one of our coffee companions from Mînî Thnî (Morley) at sunrise the other day.
Deanna Two Young Men lives in the Morley Flats area near the intersection of the Trans-Canada Hwy and Kananaskis Trail. Her yard looks out on the eastern slopes of our beloved Canadian Rockies.
We’ve been treated to the beauty of Deanna’s photography in previous columns, but this time she really outdid herself. What she saw to the west was just amazing. The view blessed her soul with the peace she so longed for that morning. She took the accompanying photo and shared it with us.
Well, as soon as I saw it, music filled my heart – one piece, in particular, from Fiddler on the Roof: Bock and Harnick’s Sunrise, Sunset.
In Deanna’s photo, however, although the beauty of a sunrise bathed the eastern slopes in a warm glow, there was no sunset. Instead, there was a moonset, and it was setting at the very same time that the sun was rising. The scene was so breathtaking that it inspired me to write my own lyrics (see photo; Îyârhe means “mountain”).
The setting moon was off to the left, while anchoring the right side of the image was Îyâ Mnathka, Yamnuska, “The Yam,” celebrated in Angela Kaquitts’ photo featured in last week’s column. Yes, these mountains were indeed bringing peace.
When I asked Deanna about that moment, she explained that, on that day 29 years earlier, March 17, 1993, St. Patrick’s Day, her grandmother Audrey Twoyounmen had passed away.
“Before on this day I would feel sadness, just cry at the thought she wasn’t with me anymore, and I would dwell in that feeling, sit with it and just let the sadness take over me, not caring how the day looked like.
“But the day I took this photo, I felt contentment, a sense of feeling that my grandmother was with me. Just like she was letting me know that it’s okay to feel sad, but not forever to carry it with me, but to remember that she is in a good place with no pain, and for me to let go of the sadness, grief of losing her, and just to be happy and carry on with life.”
As writer Fyodor Dostoevsky so famously said: “The world will be saved (healed) by beauty.” This sunrise-moonset moment was just such a healing experience of peace for Deanna. “I am very fortunate to be living in such a beautiful place,” she says. “It always gives me peace, calmness. Life is precious. Breathe in the beauty and exhale your worries and give them to God.”
© 2022 Warren Harbeck