had a fabulous day once in the winter bush north of Elliot
Lake. Some friends and I were winter camping, and we’d
left our tents that morning, wearing showshoes, to make a
wide circuit of the lakes and trails nearby. With very little
in our packs and a good campsite waiting for us on our return,
we set out to cover lots of territory. The weather was superb;
gorgeous blue sky, brilliant sun, fresh, clean snow and a
temperature just right for breaking trail. We climbed hills,
admired the views, read the signs of animals in the snow,
brewed tea in a perfect lunch-spot, checked out trails and
explored that beautiful corner of the world. With good friends
at hand, no particular schedule and a comfortable camp awaiting
us, we had the kind of a day you want to remember forever.
As I trudged the last mile down the last lake to our camp,
I was aware of what a pleasant day it had been, and I cast
around for some way to keep an intimate memory of it. The
sound of my snowshoes came to mind, the steady crunch, crunch,
crunch as they broke through the thin crust. I kept it in
my mind and later wrote this song around it, contrasting the
purity and openness of the day we’d experienced with
the more typical southern way of living, locked away from
all things natural and wild.
I do indeed “smile…. when the snow….falls
deep….on my land – again.”
snow falls, and the wind blows
There're no walls, where the land froze
There's black spruce, and jack pine,
Hard rock, and it's all mine
Nothing beats a trail to travel farther every day
rather have lakes and trees and rocks
hide away in a southern box
There're fresh tracks, in the white snow.
Where they lead to, only God knows.
There're moose and grouse and porcupine,
Otter slides and beaver sign
Lynx and coyote on the go,
Rabbits hiding in the snow
And stretching out behind me is a record of my own
rather have wolf and mink and fox
hide away in a gyproc box.
The axe rings, and the tree falls.
The dead wood, frames tent walls
The stove pops, and the heat spreads.
It warms hands, and it bakes bread
And just beyond the cotton it's 38 below,
rather have lake and trees and rock,
hide away in a southern box.
And I smile,
When the snow,
On my land,
© 1998 by Dave Hadfield