The geese approached the small pond, and everything was silent. They swooped in gracefully and gave the complementary thankful honk, before landing on the calm water. Sound familiar? Yes, it’s Stanley Cup fever again and all sane hunters have abandoned their blinds in favour of rooting for the sun-drenched hockey players versus the white, cold Calgarians. The beer flows freely in packed sports bars and the cheers drown out the boos. Yes, another check into the walls and puck in the cheek. The country roars with abandon, yes, us Canadians do roar, you know? And the goalie, now either the most hated man or crowd favourite, depending on whose ice the whetted blades tear up into Zamboni fodder, blocks another shot. I tear up my hockey pool ticket in tears.
The series tied two to two, it’s anyone’s guess and while sports bar fans watch the 10-foot wide silver screen slowly draw up into a roll, the ticket sales soar into scalper heaven in Calgary. It’s a 50-50 chance to sip champagne out of the sacred Cup for the truly hardcore professionals whose images are firmly being engraved into trading cards while the fans have nothing but hockey on their minds and solidarity with the Precambrian shield we proudly call Canada. Meanwhile, 3,000 miles due east, the geese snooze blissfully while ecstatic cheering splits the otherwise calm peace of the half-melted white north. It’s savvy, modern technology, brought to your favourite goose camp, via direct to home satellite in every cabin in the north, with the muted complementary hum of the portable generator.
Yes, we can have the best of both worlds, hockey and the great outdoors all rolled into one fine way to spend your day while on goose break. This is what I call heaven on earth.
I marvel at what we can do with today’s inventions. If I had my way, I’d occupy my trap line in relative luxury and have two-way high speed internet to boot. Stock trading and selling my thoughts for profit could subsist and pay for my monthly charter of supplies, landing on my own landing strip. Sound far fetched? Heck, the CTA do it all the time, (except for maybe the stock exchange, I thought of that myself). Satellite phones, TVs VCRs, camcorders, electric ovens, etc, have been seamlessly integrated into our adaptive culture and overnight, in one generation, was brought to the inner sanctum of Cree culture, the annual spring goose hunt. We still prefer outhouses, though. Now, if only BINGO could reach the camps (egad, what am I saying?).
I still dream that dream, living off the land in my own mansion carved out of the land, using rocks and logs, chalet style, glistening with solar panels, wind generators, micro mini hydro stream powered energy. You know, no need to use petroleum products, always silent and unobtrusive to the environment. Oh yeah, I forgot the jacuzzi, the only way to sooth tired muscles after a long hard day in the blind. One day, we will all have to live like that.