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“To Build Fire” in Nulato Village, Alaska Essay

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Nulato village cum city is unforgettable. It lies somewhere between Yukon and St, Michael along the Bering Sea, which is about one thousand miles on the northern side of Yukon. Dawson is seventy miles north of Yukon. Nulato lies nine hundred miles north of Dawson (London, 2008). The sun rays penetrated from amongst the branches of trees around a nearby fence. This kept alive the hope of a beautiful day ahead. This was not normal for me.

I have grown up in an environment that sees the sun rarely. However, warm days and nights transposed the environment’s irony. From whence came the warmth, only myths best explained the system. Hills surround this city. This is a sure reason for wind-breaking and warmth within the city. High was the attitudes of the hills the hid the sun from reaching the base of the city. From the hilltop, the view of the saltwater lake, five hundred miles down south (London, 2008). It was extremely beautiful. I saw it for the first time in my life.

People from across the Indian Greek nation used to live in round-shaped shanties. These are the structures they referred to as houses. One could easily see through the walls of these houses. They were not transparent, however. On the contrary, the old worn-out walls were of logs some fifty years back. Ants had taken their fair share of the logs. I tried to renovate my shanty but in vain. Marked by very short doors, one window, mud floor, and no ceiling made it colder than weather forecasting news. The snow was all over the place. Bodies numbed, that needed thick socks, warm moccasins, and some gloves to warm the hands (London 2008).

The rainy season is here again. Heavy rains fall in Nulato between September and November. Jack came running from the rain. The moist breath he exhaled was the only sign of warmth. His hair was wet and white from the falling frost deposits. His Frosted cheeks seemed painful, but that was all. It was not a serious one. A dozen shuffles of ice-covered Jack’s trails as he came by to my house. It was evident that in the past week, no man had come up or down that silent path to my house. This was Jack’s first time, too, to be in my place (London, 2008).

I wondered how possible it was to keep the firewood dry, whereas even firewood was frozen. Nevertheless, when he gave me the firewood, I got the real experience: dry firewood, but wet soaked by ice. The experience of soaked firewood in the fireplace was a wow one. There was no alternative to the use of firewood. I could not light the fire on my own. Jack was there to lend a hand. He removed his gloves. His fingers numbed in a quarter of a minute and could not light a matchstick. After some struggle, he managed. Firewood was wet. My eyes started itching, and tears down the cheeks. Squeezing my eyes roughly with a wet towel could not help me either. Perpetual tears would flow like a river that flows from the top of the hills down to irrigate the fields.

It was until then, and only then, for the first time in my life, that my eyes opened to the reality of the world. Hanging icebergs would be unable to contain the pressure. In addition, when daytime came, they could melt. Mid-day always found the sun in the south. Sunshine would show for a quarter a day. I always heard that the hills circle the village, but now I could see that for myself.

I can never forget the wavy horizons. Even though the sun sets earlier than in other villages, the place was always beautiful. A glimpse at the rays revived the hopes and promises of a better tomorrow. Cold it was for real. Clear sky at night was like a dream that never could be true, the moonlight was only on television and books in this land, but calmness and cool breeze tend to forge the scenery of a coastal region. The whole place was very bright. However, it mattered no more. The smoke from the fire had healed my blindness. I could not feel any cold any more. I unzipped the jacket I was wearing and unbuttoned my shirt. This took about fifteen seconds (London, 2008).

In conclusion, there was no reason at all to forget the place that taught me so much. If it was not for the love and caring Jack, I am sure I would still be a blind, helpless man. Those old houses, rainwater frost, and ice finds a way into every part that it wishes, healed my blindness. I could not thank him enough. The cultural and traditional diversity of people shapes them. Just like a river, trying to block it from flowing to its destination bears no fruits. Destination motivates the river. That spirit makes the place and people special to me.

Reference

London, J. (2008). To build a fire. Mankato, Minn: Creative Education.

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IvyPanda. (2021, April 3). “To Build Fire” in Nulato Village, Alaska. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/to-build-fire-in-nulato-village-alaska/

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"“To Build Fire” in Nulato Village, Alaska." IvyPanda, 3 Apr. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/to-build-fire-in-nulato-village-alaska/.

1. IvyPanda. "“To Build Fire” in Nulato Village, Alaska." April 3, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/to-build-fire-in-nulato-village-alaska/.


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IvyPanda. "“To Build Fire” in Nulato Village, Alaska." April 3, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/to-build-fire-in-nulato-village-alaska/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "“To Build Fire” in Nulato Village, Alaska." April 3, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/to-build-fire-in-nulato-village-alaska/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) '“To Build Fire” in Nulato Village, Alaska'. 3 April.

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