Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Driving into Whitehorse, a funny thing happened.
The sun was shining from the back, melting into the truck through still-frosted windows. The baby was sleeping soundly. We had just peeled onto the highway leaving the Ross River turnoff. Instead of counting down the four paved sections on the way to Faro, (the next town) or checking the clock to evaluate my time, I breathed deep, fresh mountain air being circulated into my truck. I looked to my left and gazed at the morning sun hitting the last of the fall leaves on the trees. I looked at the yellow burst of light hit the new snow on the mountain peaks; it looked so safe and angelic. For the first time I noticed the height of those mountains. The beauty of the peaks made them look so close to the sky, they may well have been the very place where heaven and earth intersect.
I nodded hello to the doe grazing frosty treats on the side of the road. Her brown, serene eyes transferred down the talk radio that usually entertains me for the four-and-a-half hour drive and just soaked in the landscape. Its beauty transmitted, a moving picture outside my window. A continuous reel of scenery, each frame more beautiful and radiant than the one before:
The morning's still water on Little Salmon Lake rippled around a family of ducks. The perfectly reflected inversion of mountains in the pool of water below. The bright, almost turquoise blue spots in the Twin Lakes an hour from town.
It all got me thinking about how this is my home, this is where I live, and I've never stopped to appreciate the fantastic beauty of it all. It was always easier to complain about living in Ross River, the inconveniences, the hassle, the isolation. My drive is not one with neon billboards or signs on either side of me, a truck stop every 20 minutes, a caffeinated fuel, cell phone reception, stops at fast food joints. It is not a commute, a dreaded mode of transportation. It is a beautiful-looking landscape, summer, spring, winter or fall. It is a National Geographic showcase meters from my vehicle, where a herd of elk grazes and slowly looks up to meet my eyes. It is a time of introspection, of zoning out, of going somewhere deeper and truer and accessible only by use of a key called focus.
There is no traffic, the roads are easy enough to maneuver.
It is the way here, the way to my home, and I am lucky to call it my backyard when I know that on the horizon, we'll be off of an adventure somewhere else and all of this will be a memory.

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