I grew up in Alaska, I spent my early years in beautiful and small, Haines. It was an idyllic childhood. Just us, holed up, a lovely unit unto itself.
My Dad was a school teacher at a two room school house some 30 miles outside of town. There was a whopping 24 student in all. Many traversed the miles on dog sleds and snow mobiles, and I remember a few times having to sit outside while we waited for an intrigued bear or hungry wolf to bugger off the premises.
There simply were no outfit choices. It was all decided on which snow suit you wanted to wear- for me - pink or purple. Interestingly, we never missed a day of school or recess due to weather. We would suit up and tunnel our way out to play.
It would begin snowing every year like clockwork on Halloween night and continue throughout the spring. One year, with a little maneuvering we were able to pile it right up to the roof and sled all the way down. I can recall long walks under the northern lights and moose in our backyard. counting upwards of 200 bald eagles as we journeyed to school. I love those vague memories, of something sweet and beautiful.
They filmed White Fang in Haines, and used our school as a set up station. Ethan Hawke and the whole crew came and met us, hung out with all the kids. The make up crew even painted cuts, bruises and black eyes on us. It was definately a standout memory- something kinda cool to tell my wild ones about. Their Grammy was even in it.
I've never been back to Alaska since we moved- part of me is afraid it won't be as lovely as my memories, or that it may in some way alter my childlike perception. For me, it holds this moment of time, when everything was good, and safe and free. Someday, I know I will go back, to show my children it's majestic beauty, to show them my youth, where I explored and dreamed. I hope that's what I'm creating for them, here on our farm. A safe place, where they fill secure in our love. A place they can grow and evolve into who they are and eventually who they will become.
p.s. can you believe it's almost July!