Mid-Winter ThoughtsViki Mather March 1, 2011
The snow has come, the snow has gone, the snow has come again and life is good in the bush. The ski trails are in great shape, and my hope is to get out to ski every day. Well, most days. I’ll admit that since I have 28 km of cross country ski trails at my doorstep, I’m spoiled. I only ski when the conditions are perfect. Fortunately, they are perfect most of the time.
It is exhilarating to breathe in the fresh, cold, crisp air of winter. It is breathtaking to reach the top of the hill, and look out at over hundreds of kilometres of forest and lakes. The effort of the ski energizes the body and the soul.
It is a good life here in the forest. The clear, cold water of the lake is pure and sweet. The sun shines brightly through unpolluted air. And with the nearest road seven kilometres away, the forest is quiet.
Perhaps the best thing about living in the bush is the time we have to enjoy it. Our time is our own to decide what to do with. Even the work we have to do is mostly work we enjoy.
There is a lot of work to be done around here. Even so, there is a lot of flexibility and mostly we can decide what to do and when. Most of the work is outside work, and that makes it enjoyable. Cutting and splitting firewood, clearing snow for a skating rink, grooming the ski trails and skiing them often enough to be sure they are safe. Someone has to break all the little twigs that grow in from the sides!
It is great to work outside. It is every bit as much fun as skiing (and skating and snowshoeing and…) While I was working on the snowshoe trail this winter I was also exploring the surrounding countryside. I found some beautiful little forest areas just a five minute walk from home that I want to go back to in the summer. There are a few pure stands of oak, and a lovely little clearing that I never would have guessed was there had I not been outside “working.”
Living and working here gives me an intimate view of nature. It is easy to see the importance of nature in our everyday lives. The air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat are all dependant on nature.
We all know this intuitively, but is it easy to forget in the midst of our busy lives. I suppose that is one of the reasons I write, and you read this column. I hope you will be inspired to take some time to get out to the forest, to breathe the good air, to drink the sweet water, and to feed the energy of your body and soul.
Take some time today or this evening to feel the comforting qualities of Mother Nature. Just step outside for a few minutes, or take a short walk to a park. Plan an afternoon this weekend outside somewhere. Take some time to reconnect with the ‘real world’ … the natural world that sustains us.
For many years, Viki Mathers and her husband Allan operated Kukagami Lodge, a wonderful off the grid retreat reachable only by boat. They sold the lodge in 2012. They can still be reached by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website: http://kukagamilodge.blogspot.com/