A Living Canvas

I wonder what Monet would have thought of this light.

It’s Nova Scotian fishing village meets the Hindu Kush foothills here in Iqaluit, Nunavut, where Bonhomme and I are spending our summer vacation.
The sun starts setting here around dinnertime, and stays there, singing a long lingering lullaby, for about five more hours. By the time I go to bed, it’s dusk. Night lasts about four hours in midsummer this far North.
“Momma, it’s morning! The sun’s up!”
“No, Love, I assure you that 4:20am is not morning, no matter what the sun says. Go back to sleep.”

A trawler points to the Atlantic Ocean where this morning sea and sky blended into one wet blanket pulled all the way up to shore.
Rocks are everywhere.
Rock lawns. Rock parks. Everything feels like a half-built construction site, but no. The builders, not the boulders, are what’s uprooted.
Most driveways have more skidoos than trucks.
Tradition nestles up to technology – survival comes first. The best tool for the job wins. Wolverine-fur-trimmed hoods; skidoo-pulled wooden sleds; high-powered crossbow arrows.
No patios, no store fronts. Interior space trumps exterior, and maximized for view.

Tundra is squishy, it turns out. A springy carpet beneath my feet, stitched and painted, woven and splattered.
My hand aches for a paintbrush.

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2 comments so far

  1. Lynn on

    Wow, so beautiful! What are you doing in Nunavut? Are you from there, or have family there? What an amazing adventure for you and bonhomme!

    • mindofgrace on

      I’m here visiting family; my sister-in-law has been here for work for a few years, and along the way ended up adopting two beautiful 5 and 6-year-old Inuit sisters. My mother-in-law, a recently retired public servant, decided to join her to pitch in with the girls, and here we are. A truly modern family: a single BC mother with two Inuit girls, an Ottawan Grandma and us, new cousin and Aunt come up from the Otawa metropolis for a visit while Dearest gets to stay home and renovate the kitchen in peace and quiet while daycare’s closed for summer vacation.

      I couldn’t think of a better way to spend this time. It’s stunning, in every sense of the word.


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