The Inukshuks of StoneyBrook Suites
The symbolism of the Intuit Inukshuk is very fitting for the project and mission at StoneyBrook Suites. These cairns of stone stacked to look like people are symbols of the seemingly endless journey with a horizon that doesn’t get closer. An Inukshuk is a marker in life that says, “Hang in there, you’ll make it. We did.”
When I was invited to create an iconic sculpture that speaks to the residents and families at StoneyBrook Suites, I pondered and went on my own journey to find just the right concept. Thank goodness the folks at StoneyBrook were patient because it looked like I was never going to get there. Then I ran across the Vancouver Olympics logo and it hit me; those intriguing trail markers up north! My initial connection was…StoneyBrook…stone…stone people, but later I discovered how truly providential the whole concept was.
We’re all on life’s journey, and for many of us, it gets tougher and unsure as we get closer to the end. Many of us will seek spiritual guidance and reassurance just as the Intuit people sought from each Inukshuk. These stone people were placed and built as way-finding objects and spiritual booster shots.
The traditional meaning of the Inukshuk itself is “Someone was here” or “You are on the right path” or “Someone has gone before.” But there are other, more sacred intentions as well. One may mark a place of respect, or mark a memory of a loved one, or even lead people to food and shelter. Many become so venerated that destruction of any Inukshuk is forbidden by Intuit tradition.
Inukshuks aren’t about the end of the trail. They’re all about the journey. And a favorite Inukshuk is a welcome sight to a traveler on an unfamiliar and forbidding path. My hope for the StoneyBrook Inukshuks is to symbolize the need for direction; physical as well as spiritual guidance. Sometimes we have a rough road. We need to hear and see that “Someone has gone before us. It will be okay.”
– Darwin Wolf, Sculptor