Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A Northern Girl- The Extreme Fluctuations of Weather and Life Up In the True, North, Strong and Free.

I woke to the branches and ground heavily coated with snow...again. These last two months have been teasing spring only to take it away swiftly with a few more days of winter. Normally, I love winter but this year was different. This year I needed sunshine and outdoor sounds to lift my soul.

The week before the onslaught of rain and snow, there were a few lovely days that were plus 14 degrees Celcius. One afternoon, I sat on my porch and took a video of the sounds, for my small group of faraway friends on Instagram. Even over the light buzzing of my smart phone, the sounds were still prominent. We live near a mini marsh area peppered with bulrushes. When it's warm, every night the loud croaking of hundreds of mini frogs can be heard in harmony. The crickets chirping join in next with the occasional clicking of the gophers punctuating their chorus. Canadian Geese honk occasionally when they land around the marshy ground for a quick swim. Birds twitter over the gulping frogs and next door our neighbouring wolf dog howls because her family went to do errands. She is such a baby for the huge dog that she is. I kind of adore that about her, because her howls make me feel that our family is placed in some western movie, with loads of space and not another soul in sight. I like to close my eyes while the sun warms my face and pretend we are completely isolated. I am one of those people who thrive on solitary confinement. It probably helps that I have my family and the computer world at times, because technically I am not solitary, but still...in those moments, for awhile, I can pretend.

Alone but not lonely.

The warmer days were still morose and moody. The land was still budding and the repressive brown ruled. Yet even with that, it was a 'Wuthering Heights' sort of beauty. The grey skies matched my spirit of energy. When the sun did brighten the sky it became a deep hue of blue that stretched beyond the scope of the eye and the land would buzz with signs of awakening. We were not yet at the stage of buzzing bees, although a few flies came out, but the precious stirrings of new beginnings were hopeful. Awakening is always a beauty to behold.

And then it snowed. 

The north has a way of giving and taking so suddenly. I believe this gives the many inhabitants a live or die mentality of savouring quick goodness and seizing unexpected moments quickly. Also installing resilience in those that manage to change with the seasons, or heck, the day to day. Sometimes I think life would be easier if we moved south. I can't imagine having a steady stream of seasonal change without a lot of influx of snow. The snow held off until December for us this year, and life was SO much easier. I had never realized that snow was such an obstacle in our wintering. The cold weather came without precipitation and walking places, driving, and going about life was less time consuming and took less energy. Maybe I would do better in a place without the snow factor? I like the four seasons and the beauty of the wild is something I cherish, but as these bones of mine get older (lol I sound SO old) cold is becoming a great hindering aspect of thriving. But maybe that is my Lyme or Anemia or even Mono? If I am at a certain temperature I have the least amount of symptoms. For some reason my temperature window is about 15 degrees Celsius to 25 degrees Celsius. Above that and I feel sick from being too hot and below I get chilled. Although, if I get to be inside, I don't mind our -30C days if I can crank my inside heat to +24C and go out for quick, vehicle heated errands. 

All of our lives depend on weather, but especially in places that are so prone to change. Every day we check because every day the weather forecast is a bit wrong for the next day, and our plans are dependant. The wind is also a huge factor. Because of our proximity to the great Rockies, our wind gusts can often be over the speed of a car on a highway.

My husband thinks that I am a reflection of the weather. He says it matches my moody, change by the moment, wild yet tame, full of surprises personality. Maybe that is part of the reason why I won't move south. I do have a kindred spirit to this land of mine. I also feel the changes in my body even if the weather man disagrees... I am usually the right one. 

The night before the snow, I felt achy and sick. I knew it was coming. I woke earlier because the room was brighter and knew without looking that the ground was covered. At first I groaned that the snow dare to show up and make my symptoms worse after the sun was beginning to heal. I was angry also that I was awake because with mono, every minute of sleep tastes like chocolate. But after my initial moaning and groaning, I actually looked out my window for the beauty. And there it was (pictured below), in all it's gently swirling whiteness.

I was nervous for the buds that were beginning to bloom but I realized they are probably as hardy as the other inhabitants here, and besides, there was nothing to do but embrace what IS. So I did. The sky was so white that after awhile my eyes became blurry but I still stared with wonder at the heavy white, contrasted occasionally with a brown fence or a heavily burdened evergreen. It's a cold sort of beauty. Another quality my husband says I can be until I am occasionally full of warmth for a few moments of sappy goodness. I thought about this and smiled.

So this is my life?...

Ok, yes, this is mine and this is what I will do with it today...

I will turn on all my twinkle lights and fireplaces in Anam Cara. I will Hygge the entire house. And I will send out my children, bundled and pale to play in the piles of snow until they come in red cheeked and renewed. We will drink tea. We will play Christmas music even though it is almost May. In fact, I will blast it out our back window while they play because life is short. Because this IS what IS here, right NOW. Nothing is linear where I live. Like the weather, nothing is predictable, and maybe living here teaches these lessons in embracing, giving, dealing, thriving, or just getting by with acceptance? Perhaps more than most places? Or maybe that is just my persona putting it's own self into the land? Or a mix of both?

""Northern Girl" By Terri Clark

"Grew up drivin' on black ice
Spinnin' in circles under Northern lights
Laughter steamin', small town dreamin'
Digging tunnels in the deep snow
Sheltered from the shiver of a ten below
And I'm right at home

I'm a Northern girl, wild and free
I've got four strong winds to carry me
I've been East to West and all around the world
But I'll always be a Northern girl

Little cottage on a big lake
Sunshine would be a shame to waste
Warm days won't last - come and go fast
Bonfire in the moonlight
People I've known all of my life
That's where I belong

I'm a Northern girl, wild and free
I've got four strong winds to carry me
I've been East to West and all around the world
But I'll always be a Northern girl

Where I come from
What I'm made of
Where I wanna be
You can take me out of there
But you can't take it out of me

Northern girl, wild and free
I've got four strong winds to carry me
I've been East to West and all around the world
But I'll always be a Northern girl

I'm a Northern girl
True North, strong and free
Carry me
I'm a Northern girl"

I am a northern girl, wild and free with four strong winds to carry me...It's in me and I am in it. This is who I am and although I may complain at times, and it brings it's share of pain, it also brings great depth, freedom, raw strength and beauty. True, North, Strong and Free. 
Song Choice:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZWcqcNxmik Northern Girl- Terri Clark


S said...

Beautifully written. You have a writer's soul. I could hear the sounds of the crickets and other insects and also the sound of the wind when I was reading this. My parent's home in a remote area in a small town has a similar ambiance ( except the snow, but cold winters yes !) and I could relate all the more because of that ! The seasons shapes us and our moods and growing up in a small town in harsh winters, amidst the hills and rivers made me who I am today. That is why I always crave for nature and wilderness and isolation while the latter has become almost impossible nowadays, as small town population is growing. In the city where I live today, isolation/ solitude is possible to a great extent and I like that although I miss the weather and the nature back in my town. Hope you feel better even in this harsh winter by taking small steps to nourish your body and soul. Take care,

Kmarie A. said...

S: Thank you! In any movie I can usually relate most to the writers....So I do think I have a writer's soul and am a writer even if it is not best selling material:) I am glad I could effectively paint a sensory picture for you.
Your childhood sounds lovely and the solitude in your city. Yes, I will try to nourish body and soul. I guess it is nice to have a recognizable reason for doing so. I hope the same for you!

Kmarie A. said...

P.S. S if you watch the Terri Clark video she shares my place of belonging for the most part...a lot of that footage I have spent moments and memories similar ...:)

Kmarie A. said...

LOL except I was WAY less sporty...I watched my friends do those sports - happily. Not my idea of fun...but the bonfires, cabins, mountains, prairies, the outdoor sports all around me ( again- not part of ME per se but my youth- i despised skiing and still do...but love that my friends love it!) My extent of those outings was hiking. But I am still a northern girl in spirit. Ha!:)

S said...

I hear you ! I have to watch Terri Clark's video.

Ashe said...

I got a taste of those northern winds once in South Dakota. I found it quite exhilarating, but, as a tourist I didn't have to live with it.

Love songs about pride of home and a sense of belonging. I may look up more of her stuff. =)

Kmarie A. said...

Ashe: Lol Yea I can relate to a lot of southern country songs even though they are from the south they often describe similarities to how I grew up too.

Ashe Skyler said...

Aside from any terrain mentioned, it pretty much is like that one Trace Adkins' song, "Songs About Me". Country is mostly about normal, every day life. Heh, at least for those of us out in the boonies. I don't know enough about city life to know how much they relate. I've been tearin' up some Terri Clark since you posted that video. I could always use some more lady country artists when I'm not drooling over the men singing. =P