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Archive for July, 2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Urno088IAo

 

I dreamt of Alaska so far away……..

 

I dreamt so much as a child. These wild and wooly dreams were often escapades into a fantasy land. I think Enid Blyton played a huge part in the content material. The Faraway Tree was by far the firm favourite. As I recall…… you clambered to the top of the tree and with each visit, a different land appeared. Imagination took me to some of these exotic destinations which later became part of my Buckett List. The list was largely in my head, as I had no idea what a Buckett list was.  I was surely too young to have one anyway! Although at that age, it was probably just the sense of adventure that conjured up these vivid thoughts of visiting far away places. On one such nocturnal journey, I visited the beautiful Alaska.

 We flew into Anchorage and all that I had dreamt about became a reality. The melting snow cascaded down the sharply chiseled mountains that surrounded the city. The ice -blue tinges shone through   glaciers as they groaned down the mountain face. They were forever on the move, melting and freezing as they were subjected to the elements. I stood at the bottom of this ancient mass of ice and felt very small in the grand scheme of things……. Then a ski lift took me up to the top of a mountain and I surveyed the world from above. The thread of trees wove their green path through the expanse of white snow. The silence was broken by the call of a bald eagle. It swooped overhead on the lookout for the ‘catch of the day’. This mighty bird had impeccable taste and found the local salmon to be most agreeable to the palette.

The fresh seafood crumbled open under the drizzle of warm lemon butter. We sampled the most delectable morsels from the sea and my favourite …. the white Halibut cheeks. Can you believe that these fish weigh up to 160 kilograms? No wonder that the ‘piece de resistance’ is the plump rosy cheeks! We were also treated to crab legs…..bright orange muscular ones. They appeared to have trained for a half marathon! Then there was the king salmon, served on a cedar strip with brightly coloured garden vegetables. The fresh pine aroma permeated through this delectable flesh. Both unusual and delicious!

It was time to visit these Piscean beauties on their home turf and we flew up north over rough terrain to a small fishing village. One out of 5 Alaskans can fly a plane and it is a necessary mode of transport in a country that has many rivers and over 3 million lakes!  So the salmon was duly caught, weighed and released. It was a beauty and it glistened silver in the afternoon sun. It swam off to drop its eggs and to surrender to the circle of life.

It was time for us to get back to our lives in Toronto.

 

Live every day like the first or the last one, with nothing to lose and heaven to gain.

 

Here’s to Alaska…..

Here’s to the people.

Here’s to the wild.

Here’s to the free

 

Up close to a glacier.

The closest I got to a moose!

 

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http://www.myspace.com/xseptemberleavesx/music/songs/maple-tree-73735223

 

You can always count on me and I will plant you a maple tree…….

We planted a maple tree today in honour of Canada Day…… all 4 metres of it. It is thin and scrawny but the bright green leaves indicate that it is a healthy specimen. It stood in our ravine at the bottom of our garden and was cosseted by the many elms and grander maples that surrounded it. But in this position, it fought for light and sustenance as the bigger brothers took preference.

I will carry you on my wings……

The birds protested as we gently carved it out with a big ball of soil attached to its roots. I think they thought that some larger disturbance was afoot. It made the journey up to the front garden perched in our wheel barrow. It looked rather ungainly as we trundled up the side rocky pathway and the leaves shook in protest as the gentle wind blew around us. Its new abode awaited it in the front garden.

I will build you a house of stars and give you safety while you sleep…..

It was to be the only shade tree on the front lawn, a bastion to welcome us home at the end of a long day. It had a position of importance with no competition for sustenance. The hole which will nourish it for years to come had been filled with all ‘the good things for trees’ like bone marrow and rich garden soil.

The most beautiful place in my heart belongs to you……

This tree carries hope for us as a family here in our new country. Like this tree, we have been pulled out of the ground and replanted. Thankfully, we have carried with us ‘our soil’ i.e. the customs, memories and traditions. We have carved out a new environment and the food to sustain us comes from the support that we have received. The faithful friends and family back in South Africa who keep in touch and from the Canadians that have shown us kindness.

You can climb up on the peak……….

A maple tree is meant to grow to 18 metres, we have a long journey ahead of us, but it is sure to be an exciting one!

Our young maple tree.

 

 

 

 

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