Clara Hughes and Musk Ox Wool Reminds Me of This Story... by



Journal Notes

Clara Hughes had a truly Canadian idea to keep warm yesterday on Day 2 of Clara's Big Ride. She tweeted a photo of herself holding muskox wool from Ellesmere Island that she used to line her shoes for the -12C day of cycling yesterday. Sweet move! Warm toes are a must.

Since Clara's Big Ride is about a national conversation on mental health, I will share a story with you that I remembered because of the muskox wool...

Years ago I was up in Nunavut canoeing on the Hood River. It was my epic journey of a lifetime. We flew in small float planes for hours from Yellowknife to be dropped off to an isolated numbered lake. Fifteen days of lakes and mostly river paddling above the tree line ending up in a saltwater bay of the Arctic Ocean. We paddled lots of rapids. We hiked the esker ridges along the river and found caribou tracks and muskox wool on the ground. We even saw a few muskox! The muskox have very fine wool on the inside and a thicker outer coat to protect them from the harsh winter.

Like the muskox, the finest wool warms the body, while rougher wool is on the outside for the wind. There are times in life to shed our coats, and times when we need to feel their warmth and protection. As humans we can do that by shifting our hearts and feelings. When you feel vulnerable, how will you shift inside to feel human and less alienated? What are a few things you can say or do to calm yourself in a sticky situation? When you see someone else vulnerable how will you connect with them to keep them emotionally warmed and provide comfort?



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