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.
That’s because I’ve had waaaay too much to do and just trying to keep up with my reader has been difficult.
So here’s what I’ve been doing:
– completing courses that will lead to a major career change. I have a break coming up but I have to study for a big test. Sob.
– working, and right now it’s crazy at work although the end is in sight.
-getting ready for Christmas – and ready to explode because of it.
-shovelling snow. Actually, no. M has been doing that. It’s made me swear a lot, though. The snow, not M.
-whining about snow. Yes, that would be true.
-whining about the cold. Yup. Actually, maybe I should explode. At least that would be warm. And, isn’t this time of year supposed to generate warmth around my heart cockles? What are cockles, anyway? If I didn’t know better, I would say that they’re teeny tiny c***s.
-whining about having to dodge snowbanks while out in the cold on my way to the mall. Yay.
– whining about being overworked and tired. Check.
– whining about hearing “The Little Drummer Boy” for the 1, 274, 451 st time. If I catch him, I’m going to shove those drum sticks down his weird little throat. He should be playing computer games, not following babies and playing his drum for them.
– whining about that creepy little oaf, er, elf, who keeps trailing people around the mall and squawking at them in a high-pitched voice to buy stuff.
-whining. Really, the only whine I want comes out of a bottle. The whine that comes out of me is boring. But I have to. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be me.
And I gotta be me. Who else would want the job?
What delicious pre-Christmas things have you been up to?