Atlas Dreaming in a Polar Vortex

Yesterday was amazing and everyone was outside and warm and happy and bright. I did not write this yesterday. I wrote it last week, when we did not dare set foot outside lest it freeze clean off.

Right now it’s too cold to go out, but I’m not complaining. I don’t hate the cold. I feel like it makes everything prettier, and it makes being inside that much more cozy with the books and whatnot.

And this time of year, there is a lot of hope, because frankly every day is longer and brighter than the last. So it’s clear that the snow will melt, our energies will increase, spring will arrive.

And what then?

I will be too impatient to sit and research. I must plan now for what we will all see and do!

With the pandemic continuing for a while, we’ll have to stick close to home.

In my opinion, there’s no better guidebook to consult than the Historical Atlas of the East Reserve!

Andrew says we’ve already been to every historical site in the book but I say no.

I say my imagination has been captured by learning about all the villages that once were scattered across what is now the R.M. of Hanover… but in reading the book a-fresh I am reminded that a reason for this fascination of mine is the way the settlers transplanted their way of life from South Russia to the Manitoba prairies.

So these ghost villages are more than just the ghosts and cemeteries of villages that once were. They are residual echoes of an ancient life my ancestors once lived across the ocean.

There’s not much there to grasp. It requires imagination. But this summer I intend to revisit these sites, and there on the site, read about what happened, and then write about it.

In preparation, I’m creating a “Where to Explore” book which I can grab on impulse when the next beautiful exploring day comes along.

None of this frantic one-time visit nonsense followed by a post stating I know nothing about what I just saw. I’m moving beyond that now, and what I learn in these places will hopefully provide a more meaningful connection for those searching for their past as well.

Feature photo: the frozen Tourond Creek, which leads to the site of what was once the village of Blumstein.