Walk on the Wild Side

On way too many days, I have been sitting at my computer working away on my business. Starting a new business is quite the adventure – and a steep learning curve.

As I get drawn into my computer trying to figure things out, it seems that I forget to breathe. This is not a setting for creative juices to flow.

Once we hit the one o’clock mark the dogs are breathing down my nec

k, wanting to go for a walk. In the past this has been about the only thing to pry me off my work and I am glad they are so persistent.

Living off the grid and without water has its challenges, but chopping wood and carrying water beats going to the gym. On this day we were out of water and had to drive to Carcross to fill up the blue water jugs.

The reward is to roam the beach afterwards. For me it’s mainly new sights; for the dogs, new smells.

This is the time of year when Carcross has what appears to be an unending beach. I start my walk by taking a few deep breaths. I almost expect to taste salty air as I would along the ocean.

Until the water comes up from Lake Bennett, around mid-June, it seems that the dogs and I can pretty much walk to West Arm.

The wind from the snow-covered mountains is still cool and warrants a thin down jacket. On a warm, calm day the beach greets us with the aroma of poplar sap. It is a soothing balm for the soul and can be made into a healing ointment. On a cool day one has to get closer to the trees – they are more like bonsai trees on the often windswept beach – to smell the aroma.

As I write these words I can still smell the poplar sap and feel the soothing effect it has on me.

Although this is not one of those hot summer days, I take off my shoes to walk barefoot in the sand. Every time I do this on a cool day I wonder if it is a smart thing to do.

But we make our way across the beach that is still in the process of losing its eight-month-old cover of snow and ice, and I can feel the sand work its magic.

Walking barefoot across the sand makes me feel connected to the earth and I get a foot massage at the same time. To dry off at the end of the walk, I walk through the sand higher up on the beach that has already been dried and warmed by the sun.

At this time of the year it is important to stay on the dry parts, as the water is pretty much close to freezing. Later in the year, when the water comes up, it’s fun to stand in the sun-warmed puddles that are isolated from the lake.

Although we are close to Carcross, you can hear the sounds of silence. The occasional waterfowl flies by but otherwise we mostly have the beach to ourselves.

It’s a connection with land, quiet and space that refreshes my creativity in a way the computer screen can’t.

Nowadays people buy CDs with environmental sounds, or fresh air in a can, or the smell of line-dried laundry in boxes for the dryer, to get a hint of that connection.

Elmira, Banshee, Coffee and I like to do it the old-fashioned way. We just get out there ourselves.

As for drying laundry on the line, I’ve discovered that it can be a risky business. A few weeks back, I had some Ninja squirrels destroy one of my sweaters for nesting material.

On the upside, though, it was a sure sign of spring.

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