||CANADA SEA TO SEA TO SEA
(MATTHEW MACKENZIE reading the following journal entry. He is in his late forties.)
Journal entry, January 3, 1960
Here I sit on yet another long winter night waiting for my favourite C.B.C. program to start. We should see day light again in a couple of days, but until then, just more of the same...darkness: darkness and the stars, the moon, the Northern Lights and C.B.C. to keep us company.
It's early still, but Judy has gone to bed. It is the way of her people. She says it is only us white folk who insist on keeping to our schedules no matter how much sunlight there is. She's right, of course. She's always right, though I probably don't tell her enough. After all, the first time I laid eyes on her twenty-five years ago today, I knew I'd met my match.
There I was, a brash twenty year old fresh from Scotland with dreams of striking it rich within two years and retiring to a Highland estate. And there she was, a veritable manifestation of this beautiful northern country. I didn't find any gold, to speak of, at least not the kind I came looking for, so I ended up trapping to survive. I wed Judy that first disastrous year of trapping and would probably be dead today if I hadn't. She and her family taught me so much about living off the land, about respect and balance: giving back as much as you take. Pretty simple stuff when you think about it, but its amazing how often we forget.
I have no idea where the years went, but I couldn't imagine spending them anywhere else. This is where my friends are. Spread out, mind you, over hundreds of miles, but we still share a sense of community. Thanks to that Quebecer Bombardier, with the Skidoo we can cover four times as much ground in winter now than we could before.
We keep in touch courtesy of the C.B.C. and get together every now and then in Whitehorse or Watson Lake. In between there's Bert, Harry, George and a few of the younger bush pilots to keep us connected. I guess its kind of like the country as a whole: a handful of people spread out over a vast, sprawling land and yet connected in a common identity.
Don't really know what the future holds in store for us, or even tomorrow for that matter, but as long as I can hear Judy snoring in the other room and the C.B.C. is still on the air, I'm a happy man.