Summer found the Klondike, and it has kept me tied up and pulled away from the computer and pens and papers ever since. The garden needed planting, and tending, and now near constant weeding. The midnight sun gives us little respite. The greenhouse is a jungle, tomatoes, cucumber vines and tomatillos tower far above me, straining against the poly ceiling. The dogs dip themselves in the mossy slough behind the house daily, keeping themselves cool, and musky.
Our afternoons have been hot, our nights stay cool here, which after a childhood of muggy sticky sleepless Southern nights, is a thrilling feature of my Yukon home. This place is the best daily combination of sun scorched skin and your favourite wool sweater.
My belly and the babe have been growing along with our garden, both seemingly doubling in size after last month’s torrential rain followed by bright hot days. I sing this little critter songs while weeding and climbing hills, recite the names of the plants we pass. He or She dances out their reply. Nine months seemed an incredibly long time at the beginning, but every day has flown by. We are over halfway there.
Life has been a strange combination of the utterly practical and the incredibly magical. How will we get our drywall across the river? I am building a human. Can we afford to finish our house before the baby arrives? This tiny human can hear me. We need a vehicle that is both reliable enough to get us to Whitehorse to deliver our child, and can accommodate a car seat. Our child now has hair, fingernails, and is building their first memories.
I visited my family in New Brunswick last week. I swam in lakes, strolled in the Bay of Fundy, collected shells and stones with my sister, canoed with my dad, watched my moms face as I put her hand on my stomach and she felt her grandchild kick a hello. It was utterly marvelous. Even though my arrival was delayed by a tropical storm and flight cancellations. It was odd to lay in my childhood room, looking up at the same ceiling I looked up at and once wondered what I would be like when I was in school, when I graduated, what I would do, where I would go, who I would be when I lived on my own, who I would love and to wonder what it will be like to have a child who will one day look up at a ceiling or sky somewhere and wonder all those things for themselves.
I am happy to be home here in Dawson. To get back to the work of building a home for ourselves, our child and the three dog beasts, daunting and as time sensitive as it is. With all the many experts constantly telling you what you “need” for a baby, I have to remind myself that I am surrounded by role models for creative and simple living. Many people here were raised in the bush, with no running water, with the rest of their family of 4 or 5 or 6.
It is not the trappings that are important to a child, but love and kindness, which Chris and I, our families and our friends have in abundance. Our child will not remember or be changed by unfinished walls or a plywood floor. They will be shaped by our laughter and our warmth. We have an insulated home, a seasons’s worth of food to store, wolves to sing lullabies, firewood for the winter, a wealth of wilderness, three steadfast dogs and our whole hearts to offer- surely that is more than enough.