Playing with Stones: Building an Inuksuk

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Inuksuk: defined as something which acts for, or performs the function of a person.

Everyday as I gaze out my kitchen window, I  look upon a stone work of art that I love and is meaningful. This organic, unique and beautiful Inuksuk sculpture was  built by hand by my husband and youngest son.  They hunted together for the perfect stones to build it in the Pocono Mountain region of Pennsylvania and hauled them home.  It is constructed without mortar or any kind of support.  It is a marvel of engineering from the natural world.  The stones are nestled ingeniously, much like a puzzle, and stacked into a delicately balanced one-of-a-kind sculpture.  Inuksuks, also called Inukshuks or cairns, are an Inuit symbol.    Their purpose is often navigational or a point of reference and appear often in Canadian cultural heritage.

Like a stone, each of our children is unique.  My husband has strived to connect with each of our 3 sons through their very different  interests and passions.  My husband lost his own father when he was just 2 years old.   This has shaped his drive to be a devoted and passionate father himself.  One son is a sports fanatic.  Another is into history.  This one, loves the outdoors and his Canadian ancestry.  Everytime I look upon this simple work of art, I see it as a metaphor for a strong father and son bond, a symbol of our Canadian roots, and as an example of the power of working together to achieve great things.

As my baby leaves for college this week, the cycle of life has come full circle.  I hope he will think back on the summer when he and his dad searched for the perfect stones to build their Inuksuk, and take  all the love, wisdom and blessings given to him by the wonderful man who is his father along his journey to delicately balance all that life throws his way and remain strong and sturdy, like this sculpture, with his father’s moral compass guiding him into adulthood.

image To read more about Inuksuks, please visit:  http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inuksuk.

6 thoughts on “Playing with Stones: Building an Inuksuk

  1. Your tribute to Tristan and Chris, loving son and father, is beautiful. Your heartfelt love for your three sons and husband brought tears to my eyes. I understand why your heart swells with love when you look at what some might see as “just stones”.
    Mary Ann

    • Thank you so much Mary Ann. Your comments are bringing tears to my eyes now. I shed more than a few tears when I wrote this and each time I edited the text, I would choke up all over again. Having your youngest child leaving for college brings reflection and I am sure you remember those days. Life is evolving as it should be but it is so hard to be a mom sometimes, isn’t?

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  2. I have never heard of an Inuksuk. I’ve learned something today. I LOVE it that your husband and son hunted the stones together. What a terrific father/son adventure! I understand the symbolization of the bond and power of working together.

    I have no doubt your son will look back on this adventure with his Dad as one of the most fond and purposeful times of his life. As he heads off to college, the memories of this will help to keep him grounded. Your husband has risen above the cream.

    • Oh Alycia, you have such a way with words! When I finally coaxed the son in question to actually READ this post( these boys never open my posts!), he burst out……laughing! He thought the metaphor I drew between the building of the inuksuk and the father-son bond was corny. Oh well, most people who commented were brought to tears as I was many times writing it. I am happy you discovered something new today. I had seen these stone sculptures but did not know their names until my son taught me. One day when this son has a child of his own, I predict he will be building an inuksuk with this child and telling me he finally understands. Thank you for visiting today.

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    • Thank you Jacqueline. Sending one’s youngest off to college provokes much reflection indeed. I love the texture of stones of all kind~ So much of the history of the ages is captured in stone. Appreciate your reading and sending me your thoughts today.

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