Photography by one of the Frozen Chosen
As the clouds battle the sun and the wind swirls leaves across the lawn, heading with great velocity to our understanding neighbours to the east, the CQL team is putting the finishing touches on the Winter issue.
It seemed like a few months ago we were building the spring issue, and yet here we are, to paraphrase Coach Bill Belichick, off to Spring 2020. Daniel has already shot several of the stories, interviews are underway, and our story boards are getting crowded. Before long, we’ll be looking at 2021, and that’s okay, because there are so many stories to share.
Our magazine is about journeys, because even large corporations start with one person’s dream, like the story of young Jennie Creighton, a seamstress from Prince Edward County who married a young man from New York state and together they built Woolworths. A young seamstress from the County. The twists and turns and opportunities and serendipity, and we get to share that with our readers. Woven in the fabric of our stories are subtexts of coincidences and the small-worldness of our lives.
A few years ago, thanks to the beloved Colonel Sean Lewis, 8 Wing’s Logistics and Engineering Officer at the time, I had the opportunity to fly to the top of the world. Literally. Sean figured I needed to visit Canadian Forces Station Alert, north of the North Pole. That little piece of Canada jutting over the top of Greenland? That’s where Alert is. It was April, and 24-hour daylight. Right now, the Frozen Chosen, as the Alert crew proudly self-identifies, is heading into 24-hour darkness. We had it good.
We boarded a C-17 Globemaster in Trenton and flew north. It’s a pretty easy bearing. North. The sign at the Alert base operations says, “All flights south.” A bit over five hours later, we landed on an austere runway, were transported to the accommodation facility, had a great lunch, and started a tour of the station.
When we left Trenton at 5 a.m. it was an unseasonably warm 28 degrees Celsius. Alert was enjoying minus 21 and someone commented on the cold – dry cold, that is. I replied, “It’s like a nice spring day in Muskoka.” Off to the side, I heard the reply, “Muskoka? Who’s from Muskoka?” Turns out I’d travelled to the top of the world to run into Jim Nelson, a friend from high school who was in charge of the water treatment plant in Alert.
It’s a small world, full of big important stories, and we are honoured to share them with you.
May your days be merry and bright. Spread joy. Embrace every flake of this winter too quickly arriving.
Thanks for turning the page.