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The Quiet shared Chapter 3
Come in and shake off your coat. Sorry for the snow and the wind we are having but remember I mentioned a few weeks ago we would pay for this mild winter we were having. Well the time has come, settle in and gather around the Fireside. There are plenty of hot drinks and goodies so you can camp out as long as you like.
Take a blessing and please leave on as well... we all can use them. Watch out for Quigley. She has a new hide chewy and the thing is dripping with slobber. So be careful and she does not share them.
Welcome to Chapter 3 of "The Quiet" I do hope you can come along and spend some time with Tannis and I.
Wonders of Morning
It is hard to believe the day that waits outside the tent. I can see a bright clear sky as I unzip the tent to let Tannis out for her morning business. What a night it has been. Several times I think the only thing holding the tent in place is our weight inside.
Thunder and lightning and torrents of rain are only a memory. It seems like almost a nightmare at times. All the preparations of the night before had paid off as we were high and dry and the trench I dug had taken all the water away. The alternative was to have it run under the tent. The night’s run off into the lake has resulted in the water becoming somewhat murky looking in comparison to its usual pristine clear color.
A reminder there will be no lake water for coffee this morning. Instead I have to walk a bit to a small spring in an outcropping of rocks a few hundred yards down the lake.
Tannis was busy sniffing the area, stopping to pee here and there, marking her territory. This, too, is an animal thing. I’m certainly glad we are not the same. She is so tough as she does her thing then rips at the ground with her back legs growling.
The storm has brought down some old deadfall trees so I’ll have to clear the trail properly later. As I survey the damage I cannot help but think of the way nature takes care of itself. From the decay comes new growth. It’s a circle of life. You can see that when you look at a rotting tree and observe new saplings growing up through it, feeding on the nutrients that the old has created.
Life is like that in many ways. We live it to the fullest, hopefully paying attention and learning along the way. Part of the cycle is passing our knowledge along to future generations, offering them the tools they are going to need in the world. To whom should I pass along what I have learned, or is it something that just stays within me? I never did get around to having a family. I truly missed out on something special.
The art of living on the land is something that I have practiced and learned for myself. Yes I have had some great mentors like Johnny, but there are times I need to simply stop and study what is around me getting a feel for what is available and supplying for my needs. Johnny would often say look, listen and pray and it will be provided.
Learning from nature seems to come naturally to me. Maybe it’s the solitude that I love. I have often thought about claiming this little piece of heaven, building a small cabin and living in isolation, away from people and all the problems we face. Yet I think about family and friends that I have made over the years. How would it affect my friends and especially my family?
There have been many people who have taken that step and done so successfully. They found a balance, living in harmony with nature. By loving the experience and learning from it, they have come out far better people than if they had stayed where they were.
I have surveyed this place in my mind many times and have staked off the location of the cabin with a cache and an outhouse. It is very possible. Its simplicity is quite appealing. Thinking about building seems to be as far as I ever get, as there are permits needed and an enormous pile of red tape and hoops to jump through. So I suppose that’s where it lies, caught up in the bureaucracy.
Oh well, a nice thought as I go about the task of fetching water for coffee and planning a morning meal.
The beans and bannock we had last night are all but worn off. There is a patch of wild strawberries close by so I think pancakes are in order. No doubt I will have some help eating them as I usually do. I can hear Tannis coming up the trail. She has most likely found my scent and is hunting her human down. Old faithful comes to save the day. It is probably just hunger that has put her on my trail.
The area had a fire through a few years ago and nature has again taken over.There are several Jack Pine trees that have reached three tall and growing well and the entire area is covered in the Yukon flower called Fireweed. It is a purple multi flowered plant, and it is very invasive. It gives off a slight sweet scent that attracts bees and bears alike. The flowers can be harvested and they make a wonderful tea. It is great for headaches. Just add hot water, swallow and the pounding stops. Moose love it and as a rule when you hunt in an area with fireweed, you are going to go home with meat.
I have seen Old Bess and her calves in that area several times. One of her calves lives just down the lake a mile or so and he is now eight years old. A massive animal, I would guess him to be 1800 lbs or more. He has a rack of horns that many hunters would love to have hanging on their walls. He too has had several beautiful calves. It is not hard to tell where they got their genes.
This morning the burn is quiet and peaceful and is a sight to see.
Breakfast is nearly ready. This morning it will be pancakes with fresh strawberries. Tannis is impatient, making the sounds she always produces when there is food around—though she has not even touched the food I put out for her.
As I was picking berries she sat, letting me know she needed to test them first, so I gave up an occasional berry to complete the task at hand. Talk about a dog’s life. It’s hard looking after a human.
Pancake mix is simple in the woods. I just use some flour, salt, baking powder and water. It sounds terrible, but when the berries are added, just a little on the tart side, and sprinkled with sugar, you have a meal. Ask Tannis, the expert; she ate three of them! Her dog food went back into the bag and we broke camp and heading again down the lake wondering what the day would bring. Once out into the lake it cleared and again the water was clear and drinkable.
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