My daughter and I have returned to the Skeena/Bulkley Valley and the first thing she asked as we drove up my brother’s driveway was, “Where’s Paintbrush?” His shoulder was injured beyond expensive surgery and my brother had to make a decision to have him put down.
He was the alpha horse, a beautifully marked Tennessee Walker. He had the combination of social gentleness and spirit. When I’d go into the field to pray using my ceremonial pipe he would always join me.
When I was in my early teens I rode a paint horse that took me up the mountainside trails and along the beach. He was my companion and my transportation to sacred spaces on the Saanich Peninsula. There could be upheaval and chaos at home but none of that would matter when I was on his back.