Tag Archives: musings

It’s Getting Cold? … Isn’t It?

Well, maybe. It seems that everyone to the south of us is experiencing some interesting cold weather with large dumps of snow.

We have had some snow, but by Halloween it had mostly disappeared and temperatures were above 0°C. We are getting some snow today, but it’s still fairly warm out. Very strange for this area, but the elders do say that generally, the northern weather is a lot warmer than it used to be. For this year, they also predict a severe winter based on their observations of the behaviour of the animals. I posted about that earlier this autumn. So far, though, that doesn’t seem to be case.

A frozen lake photo from last year.

Yath is the Chipewyan word for snow. Chipewyan is one of the eleven official languages of the Northwest Territories – French, English and nine indigenous languages. There are lots of yath-related words and compound words. The quality and quantity of the yath is very important to the animals and their survival, and hence to the health of the land. Because of that, lots of yath vocabulary came into being.

I never thought that I would think so much about yath. But I do now.

New yath. (Yup, that’s a small joke. Really small, I know … )

As I already stated, yath is extremely important up here. An entire ecosystem has evolved with it, and many species depend on it for their survival, both animals and plants. It is a seminal part of the culture of the indigenous peoples. But it’s not as healthy as it has been.

The amount of yath that falls is erratic and unpredictable; it starts late, it starts early; it’s too cold at the wrong time, it’s too warm at the wrong time. And that seems to be the case farther south, too.

This exhausts the animals and plants, can damage their health or even kill them outright. A bear that wakes up too early will have nothing to eat, may try to beg from humans, and … a fed bear is a dead bear. A fast thaw can cause flooding followed by drought.

We all need healthy yath. Cold when it’s supposed to be cold, melting when it’s supposed to be melting. Crispy and squeaky in -40°C, soft and sticky in -1°C.

It looks so hardy and tough, but it is actually a sort of delicate white carpet that stains easily, so the next time you’re treated to some yath, I encourage you to try to appreciate its intricacy and necessity, even if you hate what comes with it and the chores it brings.

Greetings from yath central. 🙂

Another Road

I added three photos of roads to my last post, and here’s another, just for fun. It’s a favourite from a couple of years back and was taken above the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. I love the fact that M and I headed off on a dirt road into all those tall yellow trees. It was a hidden gem of real beauty.

Except for the colours, there’s nothing much of Halloween in this picture. A good route for a ghoul though as they do have to make their escape by midnight tomorrow.

Here’s another photo from the same drive.

Happy Halloween! May you enjoy a chocolate or two and be the subject of few or no tricks. 🎃

A Blogging Anniversary

I recently got a notification that I’ve been on WP for seven years now.

It has been a growing, very changeable period. I started with wanting to share an experience, and through writing about that experience, I was able to sort through what happened and how it happened and how I had contributed to it. I wanted my blog to be informative for others, and more importantly, I wanted it to be a sort of catharsis. But, as with so much of life, it turned out that I had much more to learn than to share.

So, what happened? I didn’t know it then, but I started with a question about being a human being. I was asking, where in my head do I come from? And later, where in OUR heads we do WE come from? And still later, where in our heads are we going?

This blogging experience became a journey of interior exploration which became a journey of exterior exploration, an exploration of others and how they bounce off me, how I bounce off them, and how that bouncing changes us, even if only in the smallest of ways.

When I was much younger, I used to think that everything changes. Then I thought that nothing changes. Then I realised that in between the everything and the nothing is a world of life, that if I spent too much time worrying how I should change or not change, or how others should change, that nothing would change.

Which is really interesting, because physically, lots has changed, and that lead to a further discovery of inner landscapes that I didn’t know were there. I did a 360.° What comes around goes around. 😉

In the last seven years, I got married. I moved to a different province to take a job in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. Then I moved, sort of, again, this time to take a job in Canada’s north. My home is in BC and I have another home, a “work home” in the Northwest Territories.

I am now an administrator and the buck stops with me. It was scary at first but I have become more comfortable as I have become more experienced. I am paid very well; I am at the top of the earning capacity for my profession, something I thought I would never achieve. I didn’t even think of it as a possibility, but now it’s a reality and I’m grateful.

My M retired. About three to four years from now, so will I. We have started looking for another home; it will likely be our last one.

As I have changed, so has the content of this blog. I started with posting about narcissism, then I slowly started posting about lots of other things. I still post about narcissism and still read about it, but it’s less dominant for me now.

My readership has changed lots too. The vast majority of the bloggers I followed in the first couple of years have stopped posting. A few announced that they were leaving. Sadly, a few passed away. Others have completely revamped their content and moved on to other topics as well.

Some of those first blogs that I started to follow are still here and I love that I’ve gotten to “know” these bloggers so well, even though we’ve never met and in some cases, I don’t even know their real names. I don’t post under my real name either – I post under my grandmother’s name. I remain cautious about the old ex-narcissist still lurking out there behind his computer screen.

Those I have followed for years now have changed too, and I have enjoyed that they have shared those changes. Some of the changes were planned major departures from the previous, others much more subtle. These bloggers welcomed me, enveloped me, and challenged me to think or feel or see in a different way. Thank you. 🙂

I initially wasn’t sure how this whole blogging thing was supposed to work, but I got the hang of it. I still remember thinking that it was pretty amazing that someone would click “follow,” that people would want to read or look at what I have here. It still amazes me.

Having said that though, blogging is kind of odd. We say a whole lot about ourselves, either directly or indirectly, and we put it out there for others to look at, comment on, and to decide whether they like it or not, literally.

All of the photos in this post are of roads. They were taken through the windshield of our blue Ford truck while we were travelling rather long distances. M and I very much enjoy our long drives. We talk, we think, we daydream. These roads all lead to places large and small, unique, ugly, barren or dazzling. But really, in the end, it’s the journey, isn’t it?

Kind of like blogging. 🙂

Sunset Magnificence

A recent sunset in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, produced this photo.

Because of our geographical position in the north, our sunsets are intense, brilliant, and relatively short. And, of course, as we head into winter, that effect becomes more pronounced.

At 62.5° N latitude, Yellowknife sits in the middle of some of the most spectacular light shows in the world, not the least of which are these dazzling sunsets.

Greetings from the extraordinary light shows of NWT. 🙂

The Strong Person

This post is brought to you by Melanie’s Share Your World and Ursula’s response to it. Please take a look at their blogs. They are thoughtful, interesting and stimulating bloggers who think outside the box. 🙂

Melanie’s question is: Am I a strong person character-wise?

What does “strong” mean? To me, it means being assertive, standing up for those you love when they can’t do that for themselves, being able to think independently, having integrity.

Having defined what “strong” is though, I have to say that sometimes I have been a strong person, and at other times, I have been a weak person.

Sometimes, I’m just a sort of muddy person.

Perhaps people need to be weak in order to understand how to be strong. If you’re uncomfortable because of the choices you’re making, then maybe you need to examine them. Recognising weaknesses means that you know what strong is (or isn’t)?

Is there a little interior voice telling you to pick something else, do something else, be something else?

I’ve learned to listen to my interior voice. It hasn’t let me down yet. I have let it down lots of times though because I haven’t listened to it. Without question, I usually know the right path, but sometimes I don’t take it, and this was more evident when I was younger.

Is that an excuse? I was younger and didn’t know better, blah, blah, blah.

Well, it is and it isn’t. I had impulse control issues when I was younger and even now to some extent, but I often knew that I was making a poor choice … I just thought that I could make the outcome be different. The hubris of youth? Well, not when you’re getting up there in age …

Here in northern Canada where I work, indigenous people believe in the “capable” person, not the strong person. They find the idea of a strong person to be a western concept that leaves other qualities (and therefore many people) out. Qualities that are important and needed, but not necessarily very heroic or romantic.

Are you capable of living in the north?

It’s spherical thinking, not continuum thinking, and I believe it gets at the idea that sometimes we are strong, and sometimes we’re not. It’s the notion that we’re able to do certain things, to make contributions, but we’re not able to do all things, or heroic things.

I love the idea of “capable.” That there are many things I can do and can contribute, but that I can’t contribute everything nor should I be expected to.

I haven’t really answered Melanie’s question in any definitive sort of way, but I’ve thought about it and I’m thinking about it still.

What do you think? Are you a strong person? A capable person?

Say Good-bye to Autumn

Here in Northwest Territories, autumn moves quickly. Three weeks ago, the leaves were just starting to turn.

Now the yellow is darkening to brown and black and almost all the leaves are on the ground.

We are about to head into the Northwest Territories’ best season – winter. Gleaming with atmospheric pinks and blues and a low sunlight that bounces off ice particles in the air, the sky is suffused with gentle colour and undulating sparkles.

Here is a favourite winter photo from a couple of years ago.

The Aurora Borealis is amazing, but like the variety of us, it’s not the only light show in town.

Greetings from the remarkable northern lights – of all kinds. 🙂