Monday, January 17, 2011

Snow Snow Snow

Boreal Morning
12" x 16"
Mixed Media on Canvas

Life in the North is a different kind of thing. Where I am, we are just on the verge of the Great White Expanse. In my journeys up to the Northwest Territories and throughout Northern Alberta there is one thing I've come to understand and appreciate.

They make them different up here. Like a Raven we'll caw and complain but in the end, we get to work. We live through the mountains of snow and ice, we help dig out our neighbours, we still do our jobs and take care of our families.

Sometimes we'll get that far away look, that thousand yard stare, and everyone who lives here knows what it's like to get that need to go, to leave to walk away into the wilderness and never come back. I think it's the balance we have to strike between our animal nature and the demands of a modern life.

Yes, it's cold, people die of exposure, tips of ears or fingers can freeze away if you get caught in it, but it's also our blessing. We don't flood, we don't shake, we just freeze. And the spring always comes. Is it possible that one day, after we've wrecked it enough that it will all change? Of course. Maybe one year it will freeze and it will stay frozen. It's happened before to this earth of ours, and it can happen again.

So we do what we must. We recycle, we eat less, we waste less. or at least we try. Will it be enough?

This vast wilderness is our home, and looking out at the mountains of snow I feel a soft calm. I don't know how, I don't know why, but I know without a doubt that everything will be fine. We may have our long dark night, but out of the dawn we'll see the distance, the puff of breath in the cold air, and at last the sunrise.



grannysmith said...

Hi Aaron, Beautiful writing as usual. You reminded me of when I lived in Inuvik back in 1964-1967. Such a long time ago when I was just starting out at 17 with a small baby girl and a hubby who was in the navy.
It surely was quite an experience for someone who had grown up in Corner Brook, NL.
Yet, I loved it there. Could have done without the mosquitoes in the summer, but, there it is. They loved t there, too.
I met some wonderful people. I loved going to the Hudson Bay store and interacting with many people even though English wasn't spoken by all. They were all so friendly and smiling.
I remember going to see the caribou herds. What an amazing treat that was. I remember the 24 hour sunlight and the opposite in the winter. All colours seemed more vivid than they did back home. The sky, sun, land, water even the mud. Boy! Was it cold in the winter, -70. My Mom couldn't believe we would survive in those temperatures. My second daughter was born there. We always thought that she had trapper's rights. I had hoped I'd get back for a visit, but, it hasn't happened. I know it's changed a lot.
Thanks for reminding me. Keep up your writing and painting. You're an inspiration.
Keep safe,
Carol Crocker
Brampton, ON

Aaron Paquette said...

Oh, Thank you, Carol!

What a wonderful response. I hope one day you do make it back up. :)