Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Robert Service 133

yesterday was the 133rd birthday of Yukon poet extraordinaire Robert Service…this is his old cabin, from my living room window. And in honour of his birthday, the sun got to Dawson City yesterday afternoon: actual rays of sunlight coming in the windows of the buildings nearest the river, and a marvellous day for walking outside. A friend has told me that you should let your teeth see the sun—something to do with absorbing vitamin D that I really don’t understand—but I decided not to walk around with my teeth in a bracing leer. The sun hasn’t gotten to where I’m staying yet, as I’m up in the part of town that is in the lee of the hill, but soon, soon…

There’s a rippled edge of snow trimmed in icicles hanging off the eave on my house here—the ripple comes from the pattern of the tin roof. Nearly a century ago, legislation forced the roof (and sometimes side and back walls) to be covered with tin, in an attempt to keep the town from burning down so often. I imagine that in spring, the whole snow pack slides off the roof in a big sled-like whoosh. But I’ll be back in Paris by then, right when the really old cabins, like the one Robert Service used live in, bloom with spring flowers…because the roof is covered in mud & grass for insulation.

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