NOTES: Many folks, upon setting foot on Manitoulin Island notice that they feel instantly relaxed and that their worries float away. I just returned from 5 days on the Bruce Peninsula, the place where I was born and raised (up to the age of 13). I notice that there is a magic and peace there too emanating from the geological structure of the land, its vegetation and the Great Lake surrounding it. But even local folk on the Bruce acknowledge that when they go to the Cave of the Great Spirit (Manitoulin), they experience that deep letting go and contentment even more so.
The limestone hills of the Niagara Escarpment, (Ontario’s humble mountain range) that snake up the Georgian Bay shore of the Peninsula, passing through Nawash (Cape Croker) First Nations, actually continue under Lake Huron to rise again, like a watery-stone phoenix, as the backbone of the Island. “Limestone is an assisting stone used to enhance healing properties, encourages purification, reminds us of our innocence, grounds and centers us & entices positive thoughts.”
It is said that before the Europeans arrived, for many centuries Manitoulin was the meeting and gathering place of elders and shamans from all over North America who would arrive there to study with and experience the spiritual presence of great leaders and medicine people who lived and taught here. Cree would come from the North and West, Lakota from the Plains, Cherokee and Apache from the South, and even Inuit from the tundra.
Already an island within a lake (Huron) within an island (Turtle Island as the Native people call North America) within a sea (the great ‘world ocean’), Manitoulin (the world’s largest freshwater island) also contains lakes containing islands in turn containing ponds.
See you soon. – Hugh
Btw, if you have a drum or small instrument, bring it along. Bring bedding (unless you’re staying at a B&B or motel), towels, and warm clothes (nights especially may be cool).