Dear Moose Jaw

Dustin Gill
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Hello Moose Jaw, my name is Dustin Gill.

I haven’t visited you much over the past 28 years and I am sorry. But the road is long, with many a windings along the way and, for the next 13 weeks, my road winds to you, Moose Jaw.

It was luck of the draw, a simple twist of fate, really, that would find me barreling down the No.1 Highway every morning to reach your friendly face.

You see, I am an intern — an interloper, a transient, an ephemeral citizen, or perhaps, just a commuter. I come from a far away place, a quaint and quiet village to the north and east of the Queen City. Buena Vista had been my home for some years before the winds of change blew, and blew me back to Regina, so that I could be closer to you. Buena Vista is “A Place For All Seasons,” and beautiful it is and was in every season, as all places are where the summer lets them shine, where autumn lets them reflect, winter lets them rest and spring lets them grow. I think a lot about the seasons, about change, renewal, growth and this season I shall spend with you Moose Jaw, where I will change, I will be renewed and I will grow.

I like to think I am a student of many things, but officially, and now, I am a student of journalism. It all started what feels like many years ago, when sitting alone in my living room I realized that reading and writing are my passions and that I care about things; about the world around and beyond me. It was in this moment that it all made sense, so much so that I was dumbfounded at how I never realized it before, after all, many of my heroes were journalists and artists (as many journalists are in their own right). It was a true epiphany moment. Ever since then, I have been working — and now I am working here, at the Moose Jaw Times-Herald.

And so have I been given this column, this Tabula Rosa, whereby I am free to discuss any of the whimsical, tangential, nostalgic or nonsensical thoughts that race through my mind. Welcome to my stream of consciousness, Moose Jaw, I promise to be open and honest. Let me begin by telling you more about me than that which you have already discerned.

First, if it sounds like I have been reading too much Lord Of The Rings lately, it’s because I have been reading too much Lord Of The Rings lately (if too much were ever such a thing that you could apply to the writings of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien). This summer I undertook a quest, as it were, to read everything that Tolkien has ever written, for reasons too rich to be elucidated or elaborated here. Perhaps I should have named this column “There and Back Again: An Intern’s Tale,” but I’ve been advised not to limit my creative horizon, or pigeon-hole myself as such a specific title may do. For now, I shall save that moniker for my final column, whereby it will be free to make the most sense. In the meantime, I hope it’s not too early in our relationship to ask that you excuse me for using words like ‘ere,’ ‘tarry,’ ‘shall,’ ‘quest,’ etc. I’m sure you understand.

In parting, what you can expect from me, Moose Jaw, as we share in the throes of this holiday season, are tales, stories and musings that are inspired by your fair grounds and guardians; the places and the people that are Moose Jaw. And perhaps as well, quotes from The Lord Of The Rings like this one: “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” You said it Bilbo.

Organizations: Place For All Seasons, Moose Jaw Times-Herald

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Buena Vista, Queen City Regina

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