When I was little, I remember staring out my frosty window at the white-blue rimmed lights illuminating the park across the snow-filled streets. We didn't have police in our town, only the RCMP. This didn't mean anything until a little while ago. Just another building block of the small town mind. The federal presence means they felt so close, lived next door, but so far away, working for some impossibly old institution, trained by the books that used to tell how to skin beavers. Unavailability. I hoard things because I don't know if I can find them again elsewhere. I always can, but I feel anxiety. A lack of options. I feel this has plagued me. To show partiality is to eliminate options, options I feel are scarce enough. However, too many options is just as bad. I am not equipped to deal with that either. With this mind, however, comes a sense of "make-do", adapt what you can. Waste is an indulgence, a flighty luxury.
But enough. For it is of the town itself I wish to think of. To nail down it's form before it is tread on by the hobnailed boots of progress and revolution. To truly feel the town, love it as one loves their murderer, you must start with a western movie set. the flat-front buildings, the dirt and grime, antiquity, age, and slow-moving inevitablity. Begin to age this set with the 50's. The "New and Improved, Space Age!" signs. Then snow all over it.
Now add a dash of virginian coal mines; thick black smoke, grease caked machines, hard men. Then, in a flight of fancy, turn H.R. Geiger loose, naked, with a few huge coils of telephone wire.
Snow on it again.
Take this monstrosity and stuff it into a Vegas show-girl costume.
Last, age it 60 years, and put it on a 10 pack a day, 24 beer a day habit.
Ah! Home sweet home.
It is in the woods surrounding this aged mess (including my lovely family domicile) that my heart truly hides. A painting by Ansel Adams, a haven of hush, punctuated by raven's cooing or playful cawing. A delicious labrynth of crisp white, brimming with subtle hints of wildlife.
I recall a day, my dad and I were snowmobileing with out mutt, Einstein, when we turned a corner and stopped. Childish oblivious, I hopped off, watching the trees sway with snow. I'm not sure what was first, seeing the dog looking at the pack or my dad gesturing time to go, but my spine dawned slowly on what we were seeing. The stood a trail away, regarding us, but the dog's tail indicated he believed fun was to be had with them. We hopped on the sled, entreating him to follow us to cookies, which he did, but the memory persists.
We've had other such life, moose and deer in the backyard and enough "bears" to put a serious dent in the house's brownie population, but I've never hesitated to wander through the woods alone. They recognize my heart as a child of it's own, born in it's hospital, never far from it's aspens, though I may foolishly roam.
I may act like a city girl, but my insides are all country, and I have always known that I will go back there, someday.
Happy Feast of St. Valentine's!
For anyone interested, I plan to celebrate in the traditional way! (Dragging myself into the street to be martyred, canonized, and eventually turned into a symbol of sustained decreased oxygen to the brain. Huzzah!)