"Alone" Chapter One
After releasing the short book titled "The Quiet" here with such great response I thought I would let the next in the series out as well. There has been increase in sales on Amazon and I thank all who have supported me there. This one is called "Alone" it is the next in the seven book series called "Quiet Reflections" of a time in my life where I found great healing and freedom in living in the wilderness of the Yukon.
Welcome to the Fireside, it is evening so the fires are burning all has been prepared and I welcome you to sit and rest after a hard day. Stay as long as you like and Quigley will keep you entertained with her antics. I just carried all her toys and placed them back into her toy box and I see they have already started to be redistributed again. Thanks for joining in and please if you care to comment I would love to hear from you.
May you find peace and joy here...
Chapter 1: "Within Myself"
This is the second of a seven book series called “Quiet Reflection.” It will take you intimately into the lives of two Native communities where I was able to befriend some special people.
Follow closely as I travel into the heart of loneliness at those times when I have forgotten the need to reach out and help others. In doing so I have filled the void in my own life.
Listen to my experiences as I find the “Sadness” slowly lifted by serving, just as God calls us to serve.
Welcome, dear reader. May these words bless you and touch your spirit and inspire you to serve in a meaningful way.
Alone again, I thought as I looked through the many picture windows of the secluded street I found myself on, the setting was in Whitehorse, Yukon well north of the 60th parallel, a community built on the dreams of many gold seekers of years past.
I had already gone through the motions of telling people that I was not going to be spending the day alone. After all it was a special day—Christmas—special to all who come together.
Yet each year at this time I felt the same loneliness. For me it was simply a day of inner turmoil, a day of deep searching for the true meaning of life. Life had changed for me; this past year had been filled with change. Change so great it left me unsure of who I was or who I would become.
Here I was again on the outside of the celebrations, the family and friends gathered in many of the homes I passed. I knew some of the people, even if simply as casual acquaintances. The north was a place where you could hide and even so a place where people knew each other. People never asked questions, they just accepted each other. If a relationship were meant to be it would flourish.
From the darkness I was able to look in and watch the festivities. I recently heard a phrase that I have been searching for over years; it identifies the feeling I was lost in. "The Great Sadness," It fit what I was feeling today.
I pulled the parka hood over my head as the light snow started to come down heavily again. This had been the fourth day of snow, we had over an 18 inches and the forecast said it would be with us for a few more days. The flakes were huge, as big as I had ever seen. You could almost hear them as they hit the ground, one piling on top of the next. At least there was little wind here in the north, the trees we had kept it away unlike the prairies I had come from.
I was grateful, as always, for the gift of the parka I had received several years earlier from Mino Kesikaw—the wife of the chief of the Taggish Native community located some 70 miles from Whitehorse. It was the capital of the Yukon, which I called home.
The parka was exceptional, made of pure wolf. Only the finest portions of the fur had been used to make it. It was two layers of skin with the fur both inside and outside. I treasured it greatly, especially on evenings like this.
My friend Johnny's wife had given the parka to me as a token of love and appreciation for my help the summer before, after a fire that devastated the community. Lives were lost, lives shattered, but the strength of these people shone through in a lesson that has lasted me a lifetime. Only a few close friends called her Mino, and I was blessed to be one deemed as a friend.
Mino and Johnny are true soul mates. It is special to watch the love they have for each other. They share an inner peace, knowing they belong together, that allows them to communicate through unspoken words. Many times I watched them with envy for what they shared.
Even though Johnny was a quiet man as a general rule, when I asked about Mino he would rattle on for as long as I was willing to listen.
His wife had come from Alaska years before and they met at a Native gathering of chief's in Yellowknife North West Territories, situated as well above the 60th Parallel in Northern Canada. She had been hired on to serve at the gathering, and the moment Johnnie laid eyes on her, he knew love for the first time. There was no turning back from that day. As Johnnie said, “I was smoked.”
In Cree Mino’s name means “beautiful.” It fits her perfectly because she is exceptionally beautiful, with olive skin and long black hair as shiny as the morning sun on water. Her features are very distinctive. She had high cheekbones, full lips and her most unique feature: her eyes. She could capture any man deep within them when she spoke, but great pain and suffering shone there as well. Hidden by the love she had found yet still there when you looked close enough.
Johnny told me that her eyes were what captured his heart. She rarely spoke of the misery she experienced as a child, not even with her husband, but for the first time in her life she had come to know the love of God, her Creator.
There she found the healing she had been looking for. Her sense of peace was empowering to all whom she draws close. I once asked Mino where she found this peace. She touched her heart, pointed toward heaven and began to cry. She shared some of her suffering and looked across at Johnny, that unspoken love in her eyes. Johnny simply smiled.
Without a doubt any man could see the love they had for each other. Johnny was a truly blessed man and he knew it.
I shivered and it brought me back to the falling snow on Christmas Day. One house at the end of the street caught my eye as I watched a young lady, maybe 20, playing the piano. Her motions were pure and simple, each keystroke deliberate. The song she played was familiar: “Joy to The World.”
When she finished she hung her head as though in prayer. I watched, intrigued, as she sat quietly for several minutes, and then came waves of tears. Her sobs were uncontrollable, and I felt guilty because I had invaded a very private moment. Before I turned away, she arose and walked quietly across the room to shut off the lights.
I knew what she was feeling; she was yet another victim of the Great Sadness.
I arrived at the end of the street and the edge of town. Just beyond was a mile or so of solid timber, some small outcroppings of rocks here and there, and then the Yukon River.
I decided I would walk on, as there was nothing to return home for: just an empty house, except for Tannis my faithful Cocker Spaniel, who I had left sound asleep at the fireside. It was a rare occasion when I could leave without her knowing. After all it was just another day in my life. Again the sadness fell upon me as I realized I was alone, because of some of the choices I had made in my life had been costly financially and emotionally. Over the years I tended to make bad decisions, driven generally by an inbred negative thought process. Alcohol and drugs added to my confusion and misinterpretation of situations at hand. Thus I acted foolishly. An early marriage at a very young age cost me a great deal of money, time, and years in the courts sorting through holdings, in addition to the emotional pain of dealing with it all. I had to live with what I had done, just as we all have to live with the consequences of our poor choices. Still I knew there had to be something more; this could not be It. Whatever was causing the Great Sadness could not be normal.
But in that moment on Christmas, I simply cast it aside and disappeared into the darkness of the night. It swallowed me leaving only the tracks I left behind which within an hour of this snow would be no more.
I laughed silently to myself as I realized what I must have looked like--a man covered from head to thigh in wolf fur, stepping into the darkness. There have been many stories over the years about the mysterious Sasquatch. I could have been mistaken for such a creature, ambling off into the wilderness covered in snow. I wondered was anyone watching? After all I had been watching others. The feeling of being watched has a tendency to grip a person. We will never truly be alone, as I have come to learn over the years. God is ever present and walks with us at all times.
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