‘Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.’
— Henry David Thoreau
Autumn 1968 – The Start of a Dream
I am enthralled, glued to the screen as I watch The Trap. Oliver Reed, playing the part of a rough, uncouth French Canadian fur trapper, back in the pioneering days, is battling white-water in his canoe against a backdrop of snow-capped mountains and deep blue-green forest. He is laughing gleefully, almost savagely, revelling in the power and challenge of the river. And he is singing.
I want to be there. I want to stand beneath those mountains and trail my fingers through the ice-cold rushing crystal waters. I want to sit in a canoe on a vast lake and hear the call of the Canada geese as they arrive in their V-forms when the snow melts in the Spring. I want to listen to the silence. Know the stillness of the forest. Fall in love, and live in a log cabin in the middle of nowhere, with only the birds and bears for neighbours. I want to explore: spread my twenty year old wings and not just dream the dream but live it. I walked out of the cinema that night and knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that I had to go. I wasn’t sure when, or how, but I knew I would.
It was January 8th 1970 when I received the letter offering me a job.
This is a passage from Chapter Six.
(click on pictures to enlarge)