Posts Tagged ‘hang gliding’

To start reading from the beginning, go to May 11, 2008.

Shortly after the packing and stacking of goods
from the NORTH STAR delivery, Donny and MO
disappeared one Sunday into the bright sky in the “new” Cessna. The Cessna
Koke used to fly and eventually crashed in, I considered Koke’s
plane. Now, the “new” Cessna 170, the one Donny and I flew¬† from
Duluth to Golovin, I considered our plane. Donny and MO
disappeared that Sunday in our plane. They had the restored hang
(see Jan 2009 #32 entry) with them and had, I supposed, gone looking for
a mountain to jump off of. Actually, they most likely knew
exactly which hill they were going to. They grew up, not in
the Seward Peninsula, but over the Seward Peninsula. After so
many years of flying with their dad then on their own, I suspect they
knew every hill, bend in the stream, isolated cabin and potential
landing strip on the entire peninsula.

I don’t recall my father teaching me about my natural surroundings, but through his energy and
attitude, I developed the attention to nature my father had. Where ever
I’ve lived, I learned the terrain in detail. I know which wild plants
will pop up where and when each season. I know the trees in my
neighborhood and surrounding areas–not necessarily their proper names
but their placement, “style” and “attitude”. I expect the lunar moth at
the same light post each summer and the fungus that suddenly appears and
disappears just as quickly each June. In winter, I expect to find the
same deer path in the snow. Each fall, fresh oak galls are abundant on
the same trees. I find the airy galls scattered on the sides of the road
after the first spring rains. It is the same for me wherever I’ve
lived: Chicago, rural Wisconsin, forested northern Arkansas, Alaska, New
Mexico and Norther Australia. Of all the aboriginal characteristics
that attract me to my Eskimo relatives, Navajo friends and aboriginal
people, it is theirs and mine attention to our surroundings–to the
natural order of things. When one attends to the natural order, one is
also attending to the eternal nature of life. When one is in tune with
the eternal, one is in tune, abstractly, with the spiritual.

Late into the daylight evening Donny and Koke returned. They packed the hang
glider back into the warehouse and prepared for the day’s end without
saying a word about their man-sized kite. I suspect they encountered
another failed attempt at hang gliding in arctic Alaska.

(to be continued) copyright Tamara Ann Burgh, all rights reserved

Map of Seward Peninsula

Map of Seward Peninsula, taken from Wikipedia.com

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