Tuesday, April 01, 2008

An apple

When I was in high school, I never had to experience what it felt like to lose a classmate, much less several classmates. The high school here lost another student over spring break to tragedy. Over my five years here, there have been too many losses, too much to grieve that I can’t help but be somewhat numbed by it all. Every sorrow is magnified here, in this town of thirty-five hundred. The faces I see each day on the streets are the same ones I always see, and, even if I don’t know each individual on a personal level, we are all connected by a common thread – the thread of the northern wilderness, vitality, fragility.

This morning, a student came into my class and handed me an apple. That small gesture reminded me that, despite everything, there is something right. No apple ever tasted so sweet.

I’m slowly taking baby steps toward planning for my departure from Inuvik. There are still too many factors to consider. But, I know that at this moment, my rightful place is still right here, with my students as we wrap up the school year together. Right here, in the gentle late-winter light, in the unseasonable warmth of the day, I have optimism that an apple really does symbolize innocence that can be maintained even in this harsh world that does so much to crush it.


  1. Inuvik sounds like a hard time to live in, although it certainly looks beautiful. I'm sorry that you had come back from your vacation to receive bad news. In any case, I can't wait for you to share your experiences in Cabo!

  2. I mean a hard "place" to live in.