Ok, so the second photo doesnt show the house but I think that the snow is the important part here. Well, that and the fact that one year ago today I was flying into Nelson Lagoon with Eric, my pilot, and thinking, “What the hell have I gotten myself into now”. That thought hasnt changed much over the past 12 months. 6 months ago I would have sworn that I would be broadcasting from a new position in the near future because this (work, village, friends) just wasn’t working for me. Today, while I am positive that Nelson Lagoon is not going to be my ‘forever’ home, I would tell anyone that I am happy, healthy and much the stronger for the past 12 months.
I came limping to Nelson Lagoon, still nursing a damaged heart and sense of self from 9 months previous, thinking that, in some way, being here in this village, I would go back to being the same person I was 12 months before in another small village. I was living out an intention from a previous life; being the person I had intended to be without the person I had intended to be with. The pathway to hell is paved with good intentions and such was my experience. I put myself through a very personal hell, one that I didn’t fully realise I was creating for myself until much later. Hindsight is always 20/20 though and I shan’t continue to flagellate myself over my personal blindness and I will not play Atlas to a world that only exists in “might have been”. That was then.
This is now.
No, life isn’t perfect. Yes, I am still lonely, admittedly very lonely, at times. And then there are moments when I realise that I am so very content where I am and who I am with that it makes me smile and want to tell the world of my contentedness. Moments like dinners over this past week. While M is out of town to a conference in Anchorage, I have had the luck to share my clinic with a PA named J. J is a wonderful man who has a wealth of knowledge and is always willing to share, help and support. I had worked with him in Sand Point last April (actually, I almost passed out when assisting him with an abscess drainage but saved face by knowing enough to sit and breath until the black spots faded in front of my eyes and vision returned) and I was thrilled to know he would be coming out to fill in while M was away. I also knew that J was a wiz in the kitchen so I was hoping to share a few meals too. Nearly a week into his two here and already I will be happy to have my kitchen back to myself. Not that he isnt a great cook, fun and funny work and dinner companion because he is all that and more, I can’t begin tell you what a joy it has been to have an rational, educated conversation with someone over the dinner table, but it is my kitchen I miss. Oddly, it is not the act of having to cook for myself again, it is the Responsibility of feeding myself that I miss. I cannot begin to fathom why this is the case considering that I manage breakfast and lunch just fine and it is a novelty to have dinner prepared for me, especially one from a cook who is far more skilled than I and with such variety in flavour, made with fresh and fine ingredients. And I won’t tell him that I want to cook again either because then I would be deprived of a chance to a) NOT cook dinner and b) be spoilt with a meal. I never would have suspected myself of putting such stock in the simple Responsibility of cooking but I am letting it go until I have to resume the task again on the 9th. I remind myself that it is a grand thing to sit back and knit while succulent meals are prepared and I should savor this time, and the meals, because they will quickly be gone. I then go back to enjoying conversation with someone who pushes me mentally, not the mention the physical push/pull he has been giving me when running together in the afternoons, and remember that he will too soon be off to another village and I will have to be content once again with my solitude. Still content, I treasure this time with another quick mind like a small gift, it is the simpleness of the sharing of his time and skills that gives me such joy.
While I am still the “new” health aide there are subtle undercurrents to village life that I can feel pulling. I hear things that I would not have registered, see further into situations, know more by knowing better, taste the winds of unrest or change and it is my touch and presence that villagers ask for instead of the better educated and more highly trained hands of the foreign mid-level practitioner.
And that has made all the difference to my life here…One Year Later.