I am just back from a whirlwind experience. Last week, I was in Churchill, Manitoba. Which means I NEVER LEFT THE PROVINCE. Which means I had a life-changing experience falling in love with EXACTLY WHERE I AM. Which kind of blows my mind. I stood on the shores of the Hudson Bay and could simply not process the awesomeness. The beauty. The power. The fagility. The danger. The complexity. The SNOW. The winds. The people. IN MY OWN BACKYARD.
I have never felt more proud to be Canadian.
I have never felt more grateful for the powers that move things.
I am humbled and really, really happy.
I was in the subarctic with a really nice crew from Animal Planet. They were filming a short documentary. About me! Well, actually - it's just one episode in a television series where people are introduced to their favourite animal. In the wild. My favourite animal is the polar bear and I have developed a bit of a reputation for painting polar bears... which is kind of crazy because I've only ever seen ONE live polar bear. And she was the oldest living polar bear ever in a zoo.
SO. While the crew was filming my story (and hooking me up with some really amazing people to talk to and learn about polar bears) I was experiencing just what it's like to travel to Churchill during polar bear season.
The show doesn't air until next year (FEB 2013). On Animal Planet. And I can't say that much... (I did a time lapse painting on film!!) but I haven't stopped dreaming and thinking about bears since the moment I got off the plane. And I can't describe with words how much it has changed me. And the way I will be able to paint polar bears from now on. I am desperate to help and I was overwhelmed by the magnitude. AND IT'S AMAZING TO SEE A BEAR UP CLOSE. I was an emotional mess the entire trip because if you've been reading my blog this year - you know that this was a rough year. And I never expected the year to end like this.
I could talk about it FOREVER. There is SO much to say and share. Beautiful, magical, wonderful place. I feel like my priorities were set straight and my perspective was changed.
If there's anyone to thank after the big old magical Universe - it's Dan. Thank you Dan - for taking over while I was away and encouraging me to go on this adventure. I found my self. My old fire. And I found I have more in common with these big, magical bears than I ever hoped.
Best. Trip. Ever. I can't wait to go back. If I didn't have small people (and Dan) I would have never come home. My heart is in the Arctic.
Well, the subarctic if you're being technical.
(All my photos were taken with my iPhone.)