The Yukon in March is still in winter- but a winter that commands one to relish in the vast outdoors. Huddling by the fire is not the norm. Embracing the wild space is.
I spent just five days in the north visiting my daughter Emily who moved to Whitehorse to teach. I learned to layer and bundle and then just inhale the fresh cold into my lungs on a sled pulled by 4 leaping dogs across frozen Fish Lake. The space was immense, the eagerness of the dogs to run quite astounding, and as sheer trust and connection developed in a short time they led me onward through winding trails. The human-dog partnership seemed indicative of leadership-letting the dogs run when there was space and gently holding them back when needed required observation and awareness.
Cross country skiing along a ridge over looking the river gully took my breath away as the light fresh snow allowed us to break fresh trails. We were the first car to arrive and the first on the trails only 5 minutes out of town to this wild space on the mountain. Space to breathe in and exhale, reflecting on the crystal blue skies and sunshine, this was a place to ponder the importance of life choices.
Finding our way with trays of lasagna 15 minutes out of town to an incredible off-the-grid home in the woods to share and eat hearty food, dance to old vinyl records, and share stories provided another take on Yukon space. Space to carve out a habitat by salvaging, repurposing, and adapting to life within the wild space.
People in Whitehorse are good folk. They rely on one another, they seem to embrace and share a love for wild space and they love and celebrate the strength of the changing seasons. Sitting in a pub listening to a talented folk singer/guitarist with just a few others made me realize that through our listening, our observing and our leadership we can embrace space and not feel a need to always have a full house or a full plate. Sometimes less is really more.