“I was one with Nature, and it was nothing but terror”: Canada was a cakewalk, Pt V


They say cold and wet are the same sensation, and you can add “poor.” Cold and wet and poor. 

With our car burned out, it was a three-mile hike each way to the propane nozzle at the gas station, and a tank only held off the cold for one of the long nights. The whole sky and angle of the planet had turned against us. And not just us. All the unlucky who aren’t allowed indoors, the unhuman majority. 

I found that out in mid- December, the day of the big wind. I rowed Katherine to the dock in the morning, when the wind was just hitting its stride. It was already choppy enough to capsize that ridiculous plastic dinghy. We dropped her off, the giant depressed dog and I, then rowed back to the boat to spend another day doing nothing. The wind got bigger and meaner every hour. It wasn’t neutral or impersonal; it was mean. I became an animist and a Manichean around the time the wind hit 70 mph. There was nothing to do but lie on the bunk and stare up at the sky. The crows and gulls were screaming as they banked and ducked the wind. It was terror. They were terrified. I was one with Nature, and it was nothing but terror…

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