The final chapter of storyteller Conrad Beaubien’s series Walking with Thunder (WWT) took place in late June with the trek going from Smokes Point Road to Salem Road, an approximate six kilometre walk along a western section of the PEC Millennium Trail.
For the past 10 years Beaubien has wanted to undertake this project and when the opportunity arose, he seized the chance.
“It’s very fortunate timing,” stated Beaubien. “Everything coalesced to be able to work with Victoria (Taylor) and DeRAIL. Walking with Thunder is a project for 10 years I’ve wanted to do and it was influenced by a little book called Wisdom of Donkeys but I wanted to learn what that wisdom was, so here came this opportunity and I thought it was ideal because of the circumstances of our lives right now that is perhaps from a mental wellness not only to share the landscape and be out here but also to take a pause and to take these meditative walks.”
DeRAIL, funder of Beaubien’s WWT is a platform for contemporary art and architecture and is a registered nonprofit co-founded by Taylor and Gelareh Saadatpajouh.
With Sunday, June 20 being Father’s Day and the Summer solstice, Beaubien’s son Luc was present for the walk.
“When I reflect on Father’s Day I’m very fortunate to have Luke, 15, here,” Beaubien expressed. “When I reflect on the role of a father I think of all the fathers in the world, I think we try our best as fathers but there are so many people that are responsible for children who propagate war, who propagate biases and discrimination and that’s what the young kids learn, that’s what the children learn. So I really thought of that as probably the most important role if any for a parent or a father is to nurture goodwill amongst your generations, the ones you can directly influence.”
Taylor stated to the ten people present for the walk that all we can do now is have hope for the future. Although this is the last walk of this series, Beaubien will continue with the walks to keep raising awareness around mental health.
“The only thing we can do right now is have hope for the future and thinking about the children and they’re going to be our hope,” said Taylor. “Everything that we can imagine that’s terrible, we just have to hope in the next generation that things will start changing and we can think about landscape differently, we can think about being with each other differently, we can just think about the whole world differently and our steward ship of the land and water. This is a prelude to the future, not the last walk, it’s just the beginning.”
For more information on WWT please visit https://www.walkingwiththunder.com
For more information on DeRAIL please visit http://derailart.com