One Yukon Minute: Fox Lake Sept 23, 2012

 Sometimes we forget to stop and just rest our eyes on something beautiful in nature. We are so plugged in: the radio is playing, ear buds are in, and there are traffic noises or the background hum of appliances. We forget how important it is to just listen to the wind in the leaves or the waves on the shore. We forget to clear our minds and simply breathe.

I am going to practice stopping and listening and observing. I am going to practice just being for a few moments at a time.

Here is the first of what I hope will become a series many minutes that I can share with you. I’m going to call the series “One Yukon Minute”. My aim is simply to provide a minute that you can take out of your day to just be. So turn off your radio. Take the buds out of your ears. Turn the computer’s volume on, sit back, and relax for just one minute.

 This was taken at our cabin at Fox Lake on September 23rd, 2012.



One of the things I’ve always wanted to do is continue my university education. One day I might even finish my B.A. Meanwhile, I work at an educational institution, so it’s really silly for me to not take advantage of such easy access to interesting courses. So……I have signed up for an online course!  I am taking “Introduction to the Circumpolar World” and am very excited about it! Our very first assignment, after writing a profile to introduce ourselves to each other, was to write about what the word “North” means to us. What do I think of when I hear the word North?








When I hear the word “North”, I think of the spring, when the snow is soft and the lake ice is rotten, and looking for the silver downy crown of the first crocus on the warm hillsides. I think of driving to work into the sunrise and of it still being light when I leave at the end of the day. I think of the dusty streets and the last pocket of snow that lives in a shady corner of my yard.








When I hear the word “North”, I think of the summer, when the leaves finally emerge and the grass is green and the squirrels noisy; when the ice has gone off the lake and the dock is returned to the water and the children in the campground shriek as they jump into the icy water. I think of lazy Saturdays and daylight that lasts all night long.








When I hear the word “North”, I think of the fall that comes all too soon. Red leaves of fireweed and wild rosehips; yellow aspens that almost glow in the dark; the slow fall of leaves that foretell the fall of snow; the howl of wind that in one night strips the branches bare. I think of the fading light, crisp air, frost on the windshield and the long journey of the geese.








When I hear the word “North”, I think of winter: the squeak and crunch of snow under my boots; the boom of the ice on the lake; the warmth and crackle of wood in the stove; mountains crisp against the sky, the air clean and clear and the vista miles wide. I think of Northern Lights, endless nights, and cold and cold and cold.

When I hear the word “North”, I think of home.


I stood on my deck this morning watching the leaves fall into the yard. Not a breath of wind. Absolutely quiet and still. The only movement the flutter of a leaf as it fell. The only sound a soft whisker. One by one. Summer is ended. Autumn is here in all her glory.