Cher Yukon:

Comment ca va? I am in a pensive mood today. For the past four months, I’ve been feeling like a fish out of water here in the big city.

Lately, though, I can’t help but think about all the changes our children experience when they leave their Yukon homes to face the great beyond in the big cities of the South.

It’s funny. People, or I should say adults, who choose to make the Yukon their home, love it (for the most part) and want to be there.

Children born and raised there, however, tend to have itchy feet and, in some cases, can’t wait to leave. It is a big step – some love the urban lifestyle, some love just being out of the Yukon and some leave but come back. We all know someone who fits into at least one of those categories.

I guess we can compare this to life in general. There are those of us who take on life with the gusto of an opera singer – powerful, committed and disciplined – not straying from the notes on the page or the words in the story – out there.

There are those who tackle life like a dancer – telling a story with an internal strength and poetry of movement and working harder than anyone watching can imagine – making it all look easy.

Then there are those who, like the passionate painter, give away little bits of themselves, each work of art to share with another and to never create the exact thing twice.

You may ask where I am going with this. I am just reflecting. It could be because I recently had the opportunity to see some Northern Lights School of Dance dancers in their post-secondary environment and I felt such a sense of pride at our Yukon representation.

These students are just two of the many Yukon youth and young adults who are taking on the challenges of the world outside the Yukon.

We have past students in Hollywood. We have students abroad in the Canadian Armed Forces. We have students studying music. We have visual artists making names for themselves. We have up-and-coming lawyers, nurses, doctors and teachers. We have actors, athletes and human-rights activists.

It is just so great to know that these young Yukoners are representing us so well.

When asked where I am from, I say that I was born in Montréal, but I am really from the Yukon now, and I am thrilled to tell people my children were born in Whitehorse and Dawson City.

OK, some people still say, “Oh, Yukon. Isn’t that near Yellowknife?” I smile and say, “Yes, but we have more trees.”

The Yukon is a special place.

I leave you today with this message: Youth of today, take your adventures, make your successes and search for yourselves. Be like the opera singer, the dancer or the artist, but remember your home.

Sometimes I feel just like a youth of today, living an adventure, but I can’t forget my home. As the Rinkbinder’s song so perfectly phrases it, “The Yukon, she callin’ me back!”

Your friend,

Dale