Just a few weeks ago, there were some snowy owls just outside of Vancouver.
Photo Credit: Felicity Jenkins
Ever since reading about the owls’ visit to Vancouver, I’ve been thinking about Tuktoyaktuk. No, I have not travelled to Canada’s North, not physically anyhow. But when I was very young my aunts lived in the Canadian Arctic. This was a time of great mystery. I fantasized about what it must be like in that snowy land, I travelled there in my dreams. It is a mythical world. Unknown. Foreign. Exciting. It is full of both darkness and light. In my mind, there were animals who took human form, the stars danced, and there were answers of how people came to this world. In school, I loved hearing the folklore, and there are many stories that are stored deep in my mind.
These little thoughts, these little memories are something that I cherish, and I firmly believe that they were an integral part of what made me what I am today.
When my aunts came down to visit, they brought little offerings with them. One such gift is my little Ookpik. Apparently, this furry little creature is somewhat of a Canadian enigma. I’ve kept this furry fellow with me, and over the years he has shed some of his pelt. He leaves a little trail of fur behind as a reminder that he’s left his roost. He might be showing his age, just a little. He’s not a toy, he never has been. He’s the mythos, the lore, the fantastical. He’s so Canadian.
Sure, he’s a little strange (I did say that he’s Canadian). He helps remind me of superstitious parts of being a child; the memories and thoughts that I hold deep within. Every once in a while we exchange knowing looks. As I head out of the door in the morning into the real world, he remains behind, holding a spot in the narrative-fable of this life, he’s my imaginative world.
This is a pretty old video about the Ookpik done by the CBC