Please enable Javascript
Skip to Content
Celebrating National Health and Fitness Day through poetry
June 4, 2021
NEWS

To mark this year’s National Health and Fitness Day on June 5, Senator Marty Deacon asked Parliamentary Poet Laureate Louise Bernice Halfe – Sky Dancer to inspire Canadians to get active.

Ms. Halfe’s poem Over Sixty-five was recited in the Senate Chamber by Senator Deacon on June 3, 2021.

Watch video

National Health and Fitness Day is celebrated each year on the first Saturday in June. To celebrate it, Canadians are encouraged to get out and get active in any way they wish.

Former senator Nancy Greene Raine’s Bill S-211, An Act to establish a national day to promote health and fitness for all Canadians, received Royal Assent in December 2014.


Poet Laureate Louise Bernice Halfe – Sky Dancer at Mystery Rocks, Cypress Hills, Sask. in 2019. Ms. Halfe is an avid walker and has participated in several long-distance group walks across Saskatchewan.

Poet Laureate Louise Bernice Halfe – Sky Dancer at Mystery Rocks, Cypress Hills, Sask. in 2019. Ms. Halfe is an avid walker and has participated in several long-distance group walks across Saskatchewan.

Over Sixty-five

Sometimes the spirit of the body

has no inclination to move.

Yet,

the cool water on throbbing feet

after a half-hearted run

refreshes one’s resolve.

The heart-throb

and gasp for breath

drives

this reluctant exhilaration.

 

Sitting in a canoe,

paddle dipping, gliding past

cliffs and forest,

hand cutting the water.

This gentle sweep

moves spirit and body.

 

Each morning my husband and I

lift weights.

Stretch above our heads,

bend at the waist,

arms flapping into a butterfly.

Leg press: kneeling has never been

so easy.

We work our

turkey waddle triceps,

do full-length planks.

 

We are over sixty-five.

 

For three years

our feet covered

over two hundred miles

of the Saskatchewan prairie.

From the grasslands

to the rocky mounds of

the angels at the Mystery Rocks,

to the murdered sites

where we paid homage

to the original tribes.

 

We push beyond the limitations

of our reluctance.

Honor body, mind and spirit.

These gifts

of wind, sun, water and earth

course through our veins.

 

© Louise B. Halfe – Sky Dancer

Parliamentary Poet Laureate