I've just returned from a trip to Old Crow, though my mom likes to tell people that I was in the North Pole for a week.
I love going places and finding myself changed by it. This time, I was mentoring in an Our World workshop, and one of the participants was a very distinguished looking elder who told us idyllic stories about trapping and hunting - living off the clean and beautiful Yukon land. He showed us photographs of people trapping and stretching muskrat hides. I thought the photographs were gorgeous and I suddenly wanted to live that life oh so much. That night, I dreamt we were camping out in Old Crow Flats together, checking on the muskrat traps we set in the pushups. It was a quiet and peaceful little dream.
Days later, I went inside a building and found a moose leg lying on the floor by the doorway. It was severed just below the knee joint - a slim length of a brown, furry, and bloody, stub. I was barely able to stay long enough to snap a picture before I had to pull myself away from it. I guess I wasn't as hardened as I thought I was.
Well, I'm still not disillusioned by the thought of living off the land. Maybe I can still go on camping trips, and sit with some soft, furry, willow buds in my hand while I feed on some tasty little berries.