Traveling Man

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Flying over the river coming in for a landing from the west, I see the ice clinging to the shoreline and someone’s snowshoe tracks trying to cross over the Chisasibi. It looked like the lone snowshoe trekker turned back and I wonder if they ever made it back to town.

The plane swoops in for a classic gravel-ice-snow landing and we park in what seems to be a central airport. Little tractors speed around and we are guided to the entrance of the small terminal. Inside, after what seems to be a do-si-do square dance disguised as multiple handshakes and greetings to fellow travelers, my ride texts me – “waiting outside”. I get my luggage in the same shape as I packed it and head out to town for an overnighter.

The next morning brings me back to the airport for a multi-stop trip to finally end up in Nemaska, the capital of Eeyou Istchee.

Nemaska seems to bustle quickly for several minutes as everyone tends to the same things at the same time. Drop the kids off, go to work, plunk down on a chair or vehicle seat, you know the routine. Work, school, play, eat and sleep. At least that’s what it was for me. For the rest of the town, who seemed to be absent, they were all busy with the local trappers’ celebrations and feasts. It doesn’t take much to empty this town, but at least it isn’t for an emergency.

After a weeklong session with my clients I head back for another night in the big town of Chisasibi, then fly back home the following day. Ahhh, the joys of business travel. I check my Facebook and see that nearly everyone I have on my posts are in different towns doing different things. Should I post my meal? Nawww, I eat it instead. What is left but your stomach’s satisfaction and a good conversation? Back in the day, way back about 100 years ago, there was only the chance for face-to-face conversations if you were lucky to meet someone during your long time out on the land.

Face-to-face was a welcome choice to fraternize and to pass on news and maybe even meet the one you will marry if you were lucky enough to ask first before being hitched in an arranged set-up by your parents. Getting together today seems so distant and fleeting and quickly dismissed as being just a phase for the day. I guess that I’m nostalgically looking back to the days when walking around all night was a way to be rebellious to the older generation, instead of making displays for a few million people to discuss, like or any other emotion one can muster with your finger and your touch pad.

I look out the window tonight and see a full moon, usually a sign to go out and hang around with the other teenagers. But, no, it’s too cold and it’s just as good to like someone whose post is actually clear and in focus, when it comes to the moon. Believe me, I tried to take a picture of the moon with my phone, but the moon only looks miniscule and remote when you post it. They should make a camera that sees what we actually see but no, we just had to use digital technologies and Snapchat to fix the wrinkles on the man in the moon’s face.

Perhaps it might as well just be the way it is today. Soon, hopefully, we can be beamed around in a teleporter so that lost luggage might become a thing of the past. Who will need luggage if you will be back in time for lunch? Another idea for our investors to throw money at. Who knows, it might be sooner than we think. As for me, flying around and touching Mother Earth is just as good.

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