Monday, February 4, 2013

It's February ~ Never Too Late to Start Early

Ho! What a day. The sun brings everything into rich, startling relief.
My sled is loaded with sleeping gear and all the snow-shoe trails reconfigured to allow me to tow. It's Spring Camp, just down river. It's nearly within shouting distance of home on a high point where the Klehini can conspire with Mt. Bigger to sing into my dreams for a few nights. Maybe I'll hear the Great Horned owl as well.

Feel Spring stirring? There's two months before this Fool celebrates her 60th. The time is now.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Reflections on Ground Hog's Day ~ 2013

January was a gentle beginning to a new decade, though last week, the Klehini Valley was visited by intense NW wind.  All my familiar trails were erased, buried beneath sculptural-ly fabulous whiteness. Snow country teaches to value impermanence and the unexpected.

This winter, to mix things up I've perfected the art of tree climbing with snowshoes. Because of unusually low snowfall, there's not enough to cover the tree sized brush that edges the forest and river-flats. Smaller deciduous species, alder, cranberry, rusty menziesia, blueberry, all generally bend over by mid-November creating great habitat for the smaller forest folk and a wonderful upturned basket effect for the snow-pack to build upon. So far, thirty-nine miles up-river from Haines, the snow is powdery and hip deep, but not deep enough to easily travel through the forest.

Tree climbing with snowshoes...I wonder if this activity might fall with-in the definition of sisu, (though gratefully, I doubt it could be marketed.) I discovered sisu from an interesting project shared online, by Dougald Hine. Here's a sample:

Someone has to have asked about sisu before.

‘Perseverance, persistence, resilience…’ The librarian reads off a list of possible translations, but by now I realise that what I am looking for is more than the English meaning of the word. I want to understand what it means to people here in Finland.
‘Years ago, when we didn’t have any electricity and we were into darkness for half of the year, you had to just bite your tongue and do everything that you had to do.’
So sisu was the spirit that got people through the dark times of the northern winter?
‘Yes, I think you could say that. But it gets exaggerated, too. It has become part of this nationalistic story.’