It is amazing to think that a year already has gone by! A year ago on this day, I was up at the crack of dawn, ready to start a 13-hour journey with several stops and plane changes, en route to Resolute Bay, Nunavut. There I was to join my friend Satish Sikha, who had arrived a couple days prior. I was going to Resolute en route to the North Pole, to help Satish showcase his electric-green, eco-silk
fabric at the Arctic Ocean. Satish had been traveling almost three years prior collecting signatures of dignitaries, performers and activists from all over the world (including yours truly – it was an honour to sign!) so it could fly in the fierce Arctic wind, sending a strong green message to the world.
Satish has been touring the world, showcasing his fabric, since our time in the Arctic. Amazingly, today – a year to the day since I joined him in Resolute Bay – I go to meet him at Pearson International Airport in Toronto. We have not seen each other since we parted ways after the Arctic. Today, my partner Rishi and my friend Sunanda, who also came to the North Pole, will join me to meet Satish. It will be a reunion!
Please enjoy the recounting below of my first day getting to Resolute Bay, Nunavut, on the way to the North Pole.
Enjoy the gift of this day.
Day One, Part One: Toronto to Iqaluit
I stir. It is only 4am. The sound of the morning alarm seems to echo from some distant place. I am deeply asleep. Quickly I realize it is the morning we leave for the North Pole and it is time for me to get up. As I get out of bed, the woozy feeling that swims through my head and stomach immediately tells me that I have not rested enough. I remind myself that I only got to bed a couple of hours earlier. We had been up most of the night getting last minute preparations together for our North Pole journey, checking rented gear, fixing costume pieces, finishing my new song and packing Arctic-ready luggage. The time has come to get on the road. My feelings are a tapestry of fatigue, fear, anticipation and quiet surrender. I begin to focus on moving quickly to take my mind off feeling less than rested and to make our plane’s early departure…
Day One, Part Two: Iqaluit to Resolute
We land at Iqaluit’s small airport, the exterior of the main building beaming a cheerful bright canary yellow. We walk off the plane and directly onto the runway. Immediately the wind fiercely blows and cuts through my winter coat. I pull my hood over my head and pinch the edges of my collar to stop the wind from flowing down my chest. Rishi walks in front of me with his video camera, taking in what he sees. I feel a certain thrill at being here. I feel a rush of humility, awe and wonder at the thought of now being on Inuit land…