Ground shadows


A woman tells us of her childhood on a tiny island off the west coast of Vancouver Island during the Cold War.

She has the palest of blonde hair. Her father was in reconnaissance. Russia had submarines and ships off the coast of Alaska. She remembers playing in the sand-dunes near their house. Years later she learns of the huge earthquake in Japan in the 1800s that caused a tsunami that rolled across the Pacific Ocean where it reached the tiny island and dumped sand for the dunes that the woman plays in as a girl a century later.

She remembers that a visit to the dentist or the doctor involved getting a boat to the mainland of Vancouver Island and then a float-plane to whatever appointment was necessary. There weren’t any roads from where the boat landed to the nearest town.

A young man tells us of his encounter with a grizzly bear. There he is sleeping in his pick-up, his dog, a Malamute lying beside him. At some point in the night, the dog gets up suddenly and starts barking and snarling. The man gets up and looks out. Blinking through the darkness he sees a grizzly not far away just across the road from them. The man grips the dog by his collar. If he lets go the dog will go for the bear but will come off worse. Eventually, the bear wanders off satisfied that there’s no threat to them there.

Feeling brave? Want to share your story? In the words of one Disney princess, Let it go, in the comments below.