Parenthood has this way of turning you inside-out, of exposing you to emotions you never thought possible, of calling you to the most vulnerable place you’ve ever been. Parenthood introduces a kind of love to your life you never experienced before – a love that is different than the kind you have for your partner, or your own parents. Taking our inside-out selves into the mountains, where we are often called to be tough-as-nails, can become the real crux of the climb, especially when it happens for the first time.
Wanting to take home a little reminder of our trip to the Arctic, I chose a small print of an Inuit woman and her baby looking at each other within the hood of her amautik. The amautik, a parka with a built-in baby pouch in the hood, is a clever garment, developed out of necessity to keep the baby safe from the elements. It also creates a beautiful picture of mother and child sharing one vessel as they go about their daily activities. I could never have known when I purchased the print how relevant that image would be to me just two years later.
Wikipedia tells me that our feet and ankle structure contains 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than a hundred muscles, tendons and ligaments. Each of these tiny parts bears not only my weight but often the pack on my back, and they are called to manouevre over uneven, often accident-prone terrain. Yet, all things considered, very little has happened to them and they continue to take me faithfully wherever I’d like to go.