Saturday, August 20, 2011

Turning My Thoughts Toward The Far North

Prior to moving to Alberta I spent a few years living in Nunavut, often flying great distances in many types of aircraft, mainly the Boeing 737. So it was with great shock and sadness that I returned home from work this evening to hear about the First Air crash near Resolute Bay. I wait with a great deal of worry as events unfold, wondering if I knew any of those directly affected.

I landed many times in this remote community and spent more than a few nights there as a result of being "weathered in". Resolute Bay formed part of the route I often took when traveling from Iqaluit to where I was living in Arctic Bay. In a land of no roads connecting any of the communities, flying is the only real way of getting from place to place.

While Nunavut is a large place geographically-speaking, in human terms it is actually quite small. You spend enough time there and the population begins to feel like an extended family of sorts. Which is why it pains me tonight to think of all the people who are connected with this tragic event...people I lived with, exchanged a friendly word with, went out on the land with or even just passed by on the street or in an airport waiting room. This sad event extends well beyond a small northern hamlet, that not many people have had the privilege of visiting and spending time.

My thoughts are very much turned toward our arctic landscape and its people this evening.

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