Forget darkness. Forget subzero temperatures. After an extra long Thanksgiving weekend stuck inside the house, this little guy was determined to play out. The wind was cooperating, so his mom switched on the spotlight in front of their house and out he raced, Tonka in tow.
I watched him drop the enormous truck and begin pushing from behind through the fresh, flawless snow...all the while sputtering those highly developed motor noises that small boys (okay, all boys) instinctively know how to make.
I watched with admiration as he played...and played...and played.
He didn't mind that he was alone. He didn't mind that his face was cold. He didn't mind that perpetual runny nose. Heck, that's what sleeves are for. He was playing...playing. And nothing else seemed to matter.
I think I could learn a thing or two from this kid! And I'm not just talking about sound effects. How often, in the avoidance of childishness, do I end up quelling childlikeness?
I have to wonder.
In the midst of the sometimes harried, organized chaos of my life, I spend a lot of time focusing on the details of being responsible.
And that's not bad.
But, the unfettered, ingenuous grace of this four-year-old reminds me...there are qualities my heart once possessed that need reclaiming.
Welcome to the Arctic! This space is dedicated to observations and experiences related to daily life in the Inupiat Eskimo village of Atqasuk. Questions and comments are invited. Thanks for visiting! Quyanaqpaq!
nuna:tundra, the land atikluk:snow shirt, parka cover
Interested in Inuit culture? Check out these films...
The Fast Runner is an excellent representation of ancient Inuit culture. The R-rating is for nudity, violence, and some language. Subtitles are utilized throughout. I do not recommend this film for children, but it's an extremely accurate portrayal of the culture. It was introduced to me by an Inupiat woman who raved about it. And I agree!
For a preview, click here.
The Snow Walker is another excellent representation of Inuit culture circa 1940's. This film is rated PG, I'm guessing for language. No subtitles that I remember. It starts a little slow, but gets much better. It will leave you with a deeper understanding and appreciation for the survival skills of this culture.
For a preview, click here.
Great For Kids!
Whale Snow by Debby Dahl Edwardson is a warm and culturally sensitive story centered on the Inupiat subsistence tradition of whaling. It is available in both English and Inupiaq translation. The illustrations, by Annie Patterson are exquisite and add to the quiet softness that the story inspires.
To order this title on Amazon.com, click here.
The Alaska Geographic series is an excellent informational resource. The edition entitled North Slope Now deals exclusively with this area and even features relatives of my students. Although it was published in 1989, it is still current enough to provide a general understanding of culture, lifestyle, and issues faced by this northern-most region.
To order this title from Alaska Geographic, click here.
More about Kaktovik Disaster of 2005 (from Dec post, "The Edge")