‘After Silence’ for Rachel Carson

… In balance: here’s life, here’s death,
and this is eternity holding its breath.

Neil Gaiman

From After Silence: Amanda Palmer Reads Neil Gaiman’s Stunning Poem Celebrating Rachel Carson’s Legacy of Culture-Shifting Courage by Maria Popova

The Beauty of Life

dancing stars in the night sky
Photo by Jim113

Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

All photos, except where noted, copyright D. MacLeod. All rights reserved.

‘Place’ is a Moment

View from the Fort Carlton stockade
View from Fort Carlton stockade, Fort Carlton, SK

There is no mysterious essence we can call a ‘place’. Place is change. It is motion killed by the mind, and preserved in the amber of memory.

The Peregrine by J.A. Baker

All photos, except where noted, copyright D. MacLeod. All rights reserved.

Winter Travel Clothing, 1865

Perhaps I am the best clad in the party, and my clothes altogether will not weigh much. A flannel shirt, moleskin pants, full length leggings with garters below the knees, duffil socks and neat moccasins, a Hudson’s Bay capote, unlined and unpadded in any part, a light cap, and mittens which are most of the time tied on the load, while I wear a pair of thin unlined buckskin gloves. This is in a sense almost “laying aside every weight,” but the race which was set before the ordinary dog-driver in the days I am writing of was generally sufficient to keep him warm.

In my own case, I did not for several years wear any underclothing, and though in the buffalo country, and a buffalo hunter, I never had room or transport for a buffalo coat until the Canadian Pacific Railroad reached Alberta, and the era of heavy clothing and ponderous boots came in, with ever and anon men frozen to death in them! Not so with us; we run and lift and pull and push, and are warm.

by John McDougall, describing winter travel by dogsled circa 1865 in Pathfinding on Plain and Prairie: Stirring Scenes of Life in the Canadian North-West, 1898.

All photos, except where noted, copyright D. MacLeod. All rights reserved.

Sleeping Rough

sleeping rough
Perch Lake, AB

The effect was alchemical. When I stuck my head in the light of dawn… somehow I belonged in a way that I hadn’t before. Sleeping out produced a sense of enhanced connection with the land, a feeling almost akin to ownership: the paradoxical entitlement of the rough sleeper; whose lack of rights somehow grants him a greater right than anyone else.

by Nick Hunt, describing his first night ‘sleeping rough’ on his long distance walking expedition across Europe in Walking the Woods and the Water: In Patrick Leigh Fermor’s footsteps from the Hook of Holland to the Golden Horn, 2014.

All photos, except where noted, copyright D. MacLeod. All rights reserved.