by Brad Cole
I was walking down the airport road just outside of Tuluksak, listening to the sound of the wind ripping past the telephone line that was swaying in a cloudy sky. I could hear it making a long hollow sound, the cavernous sound of a world growing dark and falling in upon itself.
I could hear the wind slamming into the trees beside the road, bending them backwards with a swirling sound that was lashing wildly and pouncing upon the thick snowy branches. Sometimes the world wants to tear itself apart and it seems tonight is the night, I thought.
The dark, desolation of the world grows hungry if it is not well satisfied and I thought the unbearable thing can easily turn nasty. Only by learning how to live and love well can one escape its clutches and rise above the lustful treachery of worldliness.
Sometimes we must retreat and find peace in our own private caves searching for pools of soul-lifting light deep within ourselves. What we need from our Elders are people who can lead us by the hand out of darkness and guide us back to the light where we belong.
Just off the road I found the carcass of a moose cow lying on its stomach in the snow. There were no signs of tearing or blood. It must have found a comfortable place to lie down and die of natural causes. In a couple of days the local dogs will find it and in a couple of more days it will be nothing but bones. The only blood in the snow I saw later was from dogs fighting each other over the carcass.
People’s lives can sometimes be an ugly struggle. If only the schools of our world could turn the darkness of our lives into light, I though. Teachers would be the candles in the night, their love guiding the hopeful people. That would mean teaching a mental and spiritual independence, an inner strength where a people can stand up on their own, taking good care of their community. Each small village would be like an extended family lead by insightful Elders.
The wind was still whistling around the telephone line in a dark moaning manner as I stepped off the road to follow a snowy trail through the woods. It is the village dog trail to the dump. While walking back through the woods to the village I thought about our struggles in life and how it tears at us. Like trees in a windstorm we feel to be under attack. But the only real enemy is darkness and I have faith that the candlelight from within our hearts can cure us of that sickness.