Sunday, July 5, 2015

My Withywindle

Chatanika Canoe

Some of you know that we had an evacuation scare recently.  There were two wildfires burning within 10 miles of our house, and one news source reported an evacuation notice for the subdivision just up the hill from us.  I packed a single duffel bag with things that I would regret for decades having lost : my grandma-made quilts, my handwoven scarf, my shaman's bundle, my Navajo rugs, and all the love letters my man has ever written me, our drums.  I also packed file folders of Very Important Papers and planned on another duffel with clothing for a week and my growing stash of cloth diapers.  This baby is on its way whether or not the house burns down!

It was an interesting experience, packing evacuation bags.  Fascinating what I did choose and what I did not choose to pack. 

Contemplating losing this house, this place; losing the few years of less-than-dedicated work on improvements to it made me cherish this home in a whole new way.  We live a half hour to 40 minute drive out of town and both work jobs that take us into town most days.  It is a commitment of time.  But in the end it is worth it.  I love this place.  I have dreams and plans and hopes and half finished projects for this place.

The photos above are from a number of weeks ago (Many of them.  Too many.  I'd like to get out on the river again) when we went canoeing on the Chatanika.  The river intersects with the road two miles towards town from my front porch and every time I drive across it, I feel the shift.  Heading into town, heading home.  When I drive home, crossing the Chatanika is the real homecoming. It is when I cross into "my place."  It is a cheerful river: usually shallow, winding and twisting, home to birds and dragonflies.  Getting out on it in the canoe, challenging ourselves against the swift current upstream, then lazily floating downstream in the sunlight, was blissful.  Truly.  I want to go back.  I want to raise my children on that river. 

It is my Withywindle.

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