Tuesday, January 06, 2009

base camp

It's been one of the coldest western Canadian winters in the last half century; here's a shot of what it looks like. Approximate air temperature: -35C (-31F). Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. (2009).

Home for the holidays, the inertia of familiarity weighs and time slows to a standstill, much like molecular motion in a deep-freeze Canadian winter. Senses shutter. Listlessness reigns. Let's leave it, for another day.

Yet, in this vacuum of space-time, the heart and mind remain active, as thoughts bounce and emotions prod, implicitly charting a course in search of the next life equilibrium.

For most of us, somewhere along the way, a realization sets in that there are few absolutes in this existence ... and, like Einstein's greatest theories, all is relative. Even home.

Home is a base camp - or at least I tend to think of it that way. It's exposed to the elements like anything else. Sometimes, after having been away, you come back finding that the ground has shifted, for better or for worse. Yet, with a core consisting of those you care about most, home is what it is: a reference point here, for expeditions to there ... wherever there may be.

Bearings reset, we'll trek on when the sun rises next. For the first half of 2009, it'll be Scandinavian Europe once more. Beyond that? Who knows what ranges we'll seek then. Stay tuned.


  1. Amen, brother. Amen.

  2. -35? That has got to be against the law! Someone should do something about that right away.

    (And here I was complaining about the 20 something above we were having here in Seattle!)

  3. No kidding, Rebecca. Let me tell you, when it gets that cold, you start running out of words to describe it!

  4. The picture would have been more effective to show the dampening effect -35 has on smog / steam -- and how it won't rise past a certain height in the atmosphere.

    And for Rebecca, you should have clarified that we are talking celcius (not farenheit).

  5. Well, I had the privilege to work with the editor that day under that bone-chilling arctic air mass. That was a beautiful sunset none the less. It was -35C at the time. Why folks south of the border are still using Fahrenheit is beyond me. Celsius has a more profound effect on your feel of the weather condition especially when it is on the sub-zero end. I can't say I know the -35C has the dampening effect on smog/steam. Or maybe I do. Thanks either way TSM.

  6. TSM and Zhu... well, in byline below the picture, I did explain that -35C = -31F. Read closer, guys! Either way, it was cold!