Noah's soul burned inside him, yearning to be free.
I was there the day that Noah Augustine was acquitted of 2nd degree murder. I was a relatively young lawyer who had only three jury trials to his credit but after the evidence and summations, I was sure of what the verdict would be.
We were outside on the courthouse steps, smoking, awaiting the verdict and there was a few of us.
Someone, maybe it was Noah, pointed to the sky and exclaimed a single word. "Gitpo".
There, almost due north of the courthouse, was an eagle. The eagle circled the courthouse a number of times and then flew off.
I sensed the total lack of inhibition from Noah and his friends when witnessing this signul. I knew absolutely, down to my very core, that these people around me were experiencing what they perceived to be the essence of "God". There was a reverence that I can't properly explain.
An omen or coincidence, I don't really know to this day exactly what it was, but since then I have come to believe that Gitpo was there for me.
My son was only 13 months old and Sheila was pregnant for Sarah during the trial, I had love surrounding me but I was living in darkness.
Noah and I both had our struggles and demons. We were bonded in that way. We understood how a false face could mask those struggles. We reached out to each other in the quiet desperate moments. Whatever our differences and arguments, we were friends.
I learned a great deal about spirituality from Noah and my many friends in the Mi'kmaq community. I was for many years an avowed agnostic, but have since accepted something different.
I choose to believe that what I saw that April day, over the courthouse, was a manifestation of the Great Spirit. It was a realization that faith, thought and belief has its own invisible mass.
This Faith, Thought and Belief gives cohesion and centre to that most human of concepts,
Thank you Noah, for being a guide in that journey towards Hope. No matter the cost.
Dance with the Great Spirit my friend and may peace, hope, and comfort come to the people who cared for you.