These are pictures taken this morning, from my front porch. I have always wanted to live right IN the mountains – my father and I used to go riding around on his Harley the summer that I was 19. I spent a lot of time on the back of that bike just seeing and smelling things – I love being a passenger! We used to see bison crashing through birch trees – literally crashing through them, like the birch groves were just hippy dippy beaded curtains. It probably felt like they were just brushing them aside, for all the effort it seemed to take them. We saw bears, and eagles, and fox, and porcupine. Everything smelled like warm earth, dust, and roses. Oh man, the roses! The wild roses start blooming in late spring and they just cover EVERYTHING. And they have such a strong scent that when you walk out in the morning the fresh air just seemed to make everything smell like roses. It was great.
One day we went to Haines Junction and I couldn’t get over how gorgeous it was – all the mountains coming right down into the town. Haines Junction is tiny, and I couldn’t really see myself living there never mind working and raising a family. But it got me thinking of retirement, ha. At 19.
Now I’m living in a place just like that. It’s not as isolated, it’s not as small, but the mountains make me feel the same way – like my chest is a little too small. It’s absolutely stunning here. Those mountains change every single day – they never look exactly the same. In the summer time, when the sun comes up over the mountains you can feel the temperature rising, and it seems like someone has flicked a light switch. There is nothing subtle about morning here – it sure doesn’t creep up on you. On sunny days (and there are a lot of them here, which is a treat) you can see the shadows of the clouds on those mountains, and on misty mornings like these ones you can only see parts of them at a time, if you can see them at all. Some nights I go out and it’s like there’s a lid on everything – and far from feeling claustrophobic, it’s actually cozy. Like we’re shut off from the world in our little home. It’s amazing how close, how immediate the weather seems to me here. When I first arrived it was far too hot for me and the baby to go out much, but once it cooled off I just walked around and around with Éowyn on my back or in her stroller, and I felt dizzy looking at all those mountains – almost the same sort of feeling I get when I go to places like Vancouver or Edmonton and walk around with all those unbelievably tall sky scrapers all around me. It’s like… something so big and tall just shouldn’t allowed, you know? It feels like they defy the laws of physics.
There are times when I’m out with the baby and I have to pick her up and stop and just stay still, so I can really LOOK at everything. There is no way for me to take it in without one of us tripping up. I still haven’t tired of just looking at things here, and it amazed me every time I go out. I don’t know that that feeling could ever wear off on you, living in a place like this – no one here seems to take this stuff for granted, no matter how long they’ve lived here.
Anyways, it’s not just Lillooet that smack me in the face with it’s lovely-ness. B.C. itself is wonderful. I love the colours, I love all the different trees and plants, I love the different smell of the place. I *love* that fall time lasts so long here, I never got enough of it in the Yukon. I love the tumbleweeds! Holy shit you guys, tumble weeds are like… the stuff of Old Wild West fairy tales to me, and I see them growing and evolving into the mobile rat’s nests that you see tumbling across the highway right in front of me. I love seeing horses and cows and sheep and donkeys grazing along the side of the road everywhere. I *love* seeing Canada Geese right up close, that’s so amazing to me they’re almost tame here. I love the big sky, and how it changes constantly, and the clear water lakes, and the +10 weather in January (can you freaking believe that?!) but most of all I love those mountains coming right down into my back yard. Goddamn. I don’t know how I could ever live without mountains. I can’t really fathom why anyone would want to. To me, mountains mean home, I guess.