Hunter and Gatherer
Fall is the most wonderful time of the year. The return of sweater weather, snowy mountain tops, stars and stoking the wood stove. What is there not to like?
In addition to its cozyness, I find fall in the Yukon to be yet another reminder of people's unique relationship to this land. It's also very fitting that fall is becoming the annual time for a Busted Up: A Yukon Storyproduction. Exactly a year after the premiere of Busted Up at the Old Fire Hall, the cast is re-united for a second round of this play that explores this very relationship to land.
I don't have the words to describe the relief I feel when after the frenzy of a Yukon summer, people re-ground and prepare for the long winter ahead. For a lot of us, this means to forage, gather and hunt. Even some of my more "urban" Whitehorse friends turn into hunter\gatherers for the very short shoulder season. The bush, mushrooms, berries and wild meat is on everyone's mind. I'm not sure if this happens because of our urgency to spend time outside before the ground freezes, or if it's due to the incredible display of colours and foods that appear all around us. Either way, autumn is a time of true celebration of what this place generously provides for us, year after year.
In my house hold, hunting season is a big friggin' deal - I have actually been asked\told by my beloved husband not to be in any plays during hunting season, ever again. I kind of get it and completely disagree at the same time. Spending all this time in rehearsals definitely taps into my berry picking and hunting time. It also really interferes with the delightful "slow the fuck down" phase that usually takes place for me in September.
This being said, what better way to celebrate this place than to dive into stories of this land? Stories and thoughts that were gifted to us from people of all ages, from all over the territory. Stories and thoughts that remind me that, same as for hunting and gathering, if you just take the time to look around and really listen, you'll be surprised by what you discover.
Anytime I share this play, I feel humbled and grateful for the connection I have to this place, this time and the people around me. This gratitude won't keep me fed through the winter, but there's always Super Store.