an effulgent moon

It was the first time in weeks you could see beyond the runway. The moon was ablaze, pouring light across this barren land. I could see the cracks in the sea ice that spreads for miles around. I could see the mountains looming shape across the horizon. For the first time in weeks, I could see.

I woke up at 0530 this morning and did some yoga. I finished with sun salutations to the moon; who would have thought? It’s amazing how much of a difference any amount of light makes here. Today however, after weeks of a moonless existence it seemed as though the sun had arisen and you could finally peer into the dark and see some of your surroundings.

It was an opportune moment that I ventured outside, the ice crystals settled, the winds became calm and you could hear the rumble of the ice beneath its frozen blanket. The light northerly breeze licked my ears and face with a painful burn. Again, it stung.

People tell me I’m foolish for wandering outside in the cold; I tell them they’re foolish for missing some of the amazing sights we have gone weeks without seeing. Standing there, on the frozen banks with my tripod and camera, I could finally see what has been covered by the dark unforgiving blanket of the endless night.

These photos were totally worth the freezing cold, the painful numbness that creeps into your extremities and chills you to the core. In this particular instance, with the bone chilling cold and the land being almost completely barren, it is beautiful. You stand here realizing so few people get to see this and that is why it is worth the freezing trips outside, the hours spent slathering on lotion to the burn you received in minutes and finally the trips running between the camera and truck: it is worth it, to be able to share.


new years: ice fishing

I woke up today with a smile on my face. It’s hard to believe where I am sometimes. When I look at a map I can’t even fathom how far I truly am from everything and everyone. Just to put it into a bit of perspective I’m closer to Moscow, Russia than Ottawa and the nearest major city is Stockholm, Sweden. Crazy, hey?

On New Years Eve morning, we woke up early and had a great breakfast. It was big fatty Friday and Saturday for me and I filled up on bacon, eggs and hash browns. Delicious. I’d say the one thing I constantly look forward to here is meals. The food is always outstanding and you get to sit and talk with everyone. There are always so many laughs and I’m so thankful there is such a great group of people here. It really is like your own little family.

Around eleven we got into the BV and went off the road towards the lake we were going to be fishing on. Wildlife count: 2 arctic hares. One was surely suicidal as it was running full tilt towards the vehicle. I’m standing behind the fact that he wanted to see the light again – very understandable. When we finally got there the boys got out and drilled the holes. I would like to thank my parents for making me a lady at this point in time because the three girls got to sit inside the BV laughing and staying warm while the guys were out in the cold. Thank you boys for doing the dirty and chilly work!

Warmed by the glow of a lantern and a wood fire we sat in the shack fishing, sharing many laughs and stories while listening to some great music. It was an amazing experience just to be out of the station and doing something new. How many people can say they went ice fishing at the North Pole on New Years Eve?! This gal. I caught two Arctic Char – which were delish with some onions and lemon! – And overall had a wonderful day. We finished off the night with dressing up and playing many games at the mess and toasting champagne at midnight.

People have been asking me how my feelings have been since I’ve arrived. There have been times where I am sad, that I have been scared and certainly where I have been missing home but there are many more times where I am thankful to have such a unique experience, to be living here and learning so much each and every day. I am not going to lie, I am still afraid of the dark but being brave isn’t that you aren’t scared it’s what you choose to do with your fear.

I want to thank everyone again who has sent me cards and care packages and well wishes on my blog. I read every comment and I assure you it always makes me smile. I am so thankful to have so many people who are there for me and I hope I’m making you feel included in my journey here. I really wish I could just share all that I am experiencing, so I will keep trying one post at a time.

Happy New Year to all, I am so very excited for what 2012 is going to bring.