And so the year is winding down. An intense year with a multitude of new experiences that have left me emotionally and physically exhausted. Returning last week from an unplanned trip to Europe due to a family emergency, I stared down at the white emptiness of the Greenland icecap, Bylot and Baffin Island, and the stark beauty of the Barrens undulating below the plane. There is a strange kind of solace in that kind of untouched landscape; a promise that whatever happens, the land will always be there.
As I finally arrived home with over a thousand pounds of groceries and supplies, and the Beaver vanished back across the lake, silence seeped into me. Wilderness is mostly a very quiet place. It feels like it’s uncurling and unbending me, slowly coaxing back to life all the senses I can’t help but shutter when I am out in civilization.
C. is gone for the next few months, getting out to travel after playing hermit here while I looked after orphaned black bears. It’s just me and the dog in our solitary wild heaven. I begin to shape the days with the old familiar pattern: hauling water from the lake, chopping wood, going for long walks, looking for animal tracks, reading, writing. I’m still tired of the outside world. Bring on the darkness, let winter come.