The icy waves crash against the shore. The base sounds resonate across the land. It is the beating drum. It hits a perfect rhythm. The ice undulates at various wave lengths shaping the tune. Depending on the time of day, the direction of the wind and where you are located you can hear the song in a different way.
Inuit, like a perfect tune create the bridge between the ocean and the land. Walking through town it is typical to see hunters fixing their sleds. Families heading out fishing. Children running around, or ‘playing out’ as it is commonly referred to here. Dogs barking at the children. The warmth of families surrounding a cup of freshly brewed lake water tea. The light touch needed to skin animals and the soft sounds of the needle pulling thread sewing parkas. Preparing for the depths of winter. The sounds are light, but apparent.
The alto sounds are found out on the land. As the snow arrives, the arctic landmass is covered with a sheet of white. What is perceived as something that is untouched is covered with wildlife, brush and hidden secrets. I have been fortunate to travel outside of the community. It has made me realize a few things. Once you leave the community, which is quite small, suddenly the beat becomes less apparent. Its like a slow decrescendo of the base.
There are typically a few people out on the land. Some ice fishing. Aggressively forcing a metal sheer to make a hole, scooping out the ice, lacing their lines and waiting quietly for a fish to bite. Others are traveling in the far hills pulling long wooden sleds with their belongings. Sometimes foxes will appear curious enough to glide across the ice.
The sun shines down as if to conduct the orchestra. Highlighting a freshly caught fish, a nice view in the distance or perhaps even some small willow bushes. The wind crafts a higher pitched sound resonating through the thorns as Arctic Hares appear. Some days this sound is cut with a silence other by a hunter looking to feed his family.
As the sun goes down the crescendo rises. Snowmobiles travel back home and people continue on with their life. Wherever you go, though sometimes more apparent than others, if you listen closely, you can always hear a heart beating.
By Geneviève Lalonde
A collection of stories and tales. Reminiscing the past and exploring the future.