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jeudi 3 avril 2014

Letters from the Northern Lands


My Love

Today we went fishing. What would have been a quiet, slightly dull day at home is an adventure all on its own out here.
It took us nearly two hours (as best we can tell) to reach the lake. We hiked down the mountains, first on craggy plains strewn with gigantic, millennia-old boulders, and then through the forest.
Small brooks and rivers we had to cross, unaided by paths or bridges, for where we thread, none had set foot before us. Marshes sucked in our feet as we tramped through them. We were sweating profusely, the chill of the higher altitudes all but forgotten, the cold and biting wind only a distant memory. Mosquitos stung every part of our exposed skin, feasting on our blood, prey so rarely seen in these parts.
Despite the never-ending nights that engulf these lands in winter, everything was green now, as if the whole of nature tried to pack a year of life into only a few months.
The trees and stones where thick with moss, the underbrush was lush and lively. From one crag to the next, the vegetation would change drastically. We felt as if in a fairy tail.
Trolls could be hiding in that cave, leprechauns watching us form behind that rock. Fairies flitting through the ferns and were-lights hiding in the damp marches. For our tired minds, all these things, and many others, would not have seemed out of place.
As we arrived on the shore, the chilling wind took it's due again, but it kept the stinging insects at bay. Using ant eggs we found as bait, we set out to catch our lunch (or was it dinner ? it is hard to tell when the light of day never changes and the sun hides behind the clouds). No sooner did we sit down, our lines cast, to light a fire, did our floaters start to bob. We caught one fish, then two, then three, and as the fine smell of cooked meat reached our cold noses, neither the wind nor the clouds nor the rain could tear the smiles from our faces. Stuffed, we set out to reach the mountains once again, where the chill would shelter us from our bloodsucking friends.
Now once more I sit in our little shelter, writing to you before dinner.
I wonder, have you already eaten ? Or are you still in front of the stove, a watchful eye on the softly simmering lamb chops ? Will you read a book in that cozy armchair that your father left you ? Or will you meet your friends for an evening of girly chatter, perhaps discussing my fate, in what I know them to believe is an ill-conceived venture ?
I think of all this, and I miss you, my Love. But I also know that all this is not for naught. And should I come home now, without having done what I set out to do ? I doubt that would be the kind of man worthy of you. Nor is it the kind of man I want to be. I shall stay, my Love, For a while longer, until I feel that I have done what was to be done. And when I come home, after days and weeks have passed, we shall smile together truthfully, knowing that whatever it was that drove me away is now gone, and that we can stay together, in each others hearts and in each others arms, for as long a time we have on this earth of ours.


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