Saturday, October 5, 2013

Yukon Living...The Sweetest Peace

The timber wolves will be our friends.
We'll stay up late and howl,
At the moon, till nighttime ends,
Before going on the prowl.

Oh, what a life! We cannot wait,
To be in that arctic land,
Where we'll be masters of our fate,
And lead a life that's grand!

~excerpt from Calvin & Hobbes' "The Yukon Song", by Bill Watterson

It has been almost three weeks since I arrived in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. The drive was truly an odyssey, and the peace that has followed has also been overwhelming. After so many months of planning, my dream really has come true.

The air here is as clean as I remember. No more hacking cough from particulate in the air. The roads are quiet, much quieter than what I am used to. Everything is within a five minute walk as I am downtown. The Yukon river is 350 m away.

Emerald Lake. I drove too far and missed the turnoff to a friend's house
...but this was a great site to pass despite my error:)

The community here is close knit and supportive. There is always something going on. The cold and snow is just par for the course for the people here in the Yukon. Each time of day here, each moment of each season, changes almost before your eyes.

An unkindness of ravens surveyed the Yukon River as I walked by them yesterday...

McLean Lake. Went jogging here one day. No one around as usual. Perfect:)

Recently as I drove down the Robert Service Expressway into Whitehorse I looked across at Grey Mountain (or Canyon Mountain, it's proper name) across The Yukon River. I was struck by the rivulets of golden-yellow tendrils of far off trees whose leaves were reaching up onto the mountain as far as possible. Within 24 hours many leaves have given up the ghost and dropped down to the forest floor, like bright little mandalas. Beautiful. Ephemeral.

Driving down the South Klondike Hihgway...I see mountains every day now. Joy!

I will often paint in my little studio all day and then go for a 3-5 mile hike on Grey Mountain. There are well marked trails and you will rarely see another person. More likely you will see a porcupine, deer, or even a bear. This year has been a bumper crop in terms of berries I hear, and so some friends and I are going berry picking on the weekend. A true Northern tradition. I made some cranberry jam today, and will be blogging about that process, as well as the process of picking the berries.

Hidden Lake, which I passed on a recent hike. 

I have spent so much time and energy thinking about being here, planning, organizing, that the peace felt now that I'm settling in is palpable. All of that energy can now rest and be turned over into the soil of this new place. I honesty cannot remember being this happy. This place is polarizing. So much happening yet so much quiet and stillness if you turn away from the hum as well.

It is definitely autumn here in The Yukon..

Sasha is getting used to the little cottage where I live. His space has lessened but his personality is just as big and he keeps me up regularly at night wanting to play. What a trooper. I knew he could do the trip, and now his coat is getting thicker each day. He will need the extra insulation as the snow will be flying within two weeks most likely.

Moody skies at Lewes Lake, off the South Klondike Highway

Each day when I step out of my little cottage I am so thankful. I look at the mountains across the river and breathe the clean air and smile. I need nothing more. My cup is full, and The Yukon is a cup that never runs dry.