One Colour

A Northern Exposure moment

In My Opinion, Inspiration, Reflection, WisdomOne Colour2 Comments

Just because this TV show (Northern Exposure) was made in the 1990s doesn't mean it's not a sound action to repeat watch it nearly 20 years later.

In 1990, when the show's harmonica theme song was first heard, I was living in Sydney. At that stage I think I managed to catch almost all the episodes between 1990-1993, then I moved to the Hunter Valley and, with the new living location and job, I didn't watch that many of the later episodes. By the time the show had its final series in 1995, I was married and pregnant, so definitely not in the zone for watching the series, although at that time I do remember watching quite a lot of Pride & Prejudice (the 1995 BBC production).

Northern Exposure still has a fascination for me, though. I love the quirky harmony of the imaginary town of Cicely, Alaska. The townsfolk, some of whom are so apparently opposed in lifestyle or belief, are still able to accept each other and live side by side. In that idyllic world there is little judgement, much respect and a wonderful fitting in with the rhythms of the seasons. The most recent episode I watched was "First Snow", all about the coming of winter, wishing each other "Bon Hiver", loading up on carbs to ward off the freezing temps to come and celebrating just what it takes to survive in such a remote location. I know life in Cicely it isn't real or even feasible but I still love the feeling I get when escaping for an hour or so into the lives of these characters.

So it seems good to begin my 2017 journal with a message straight from Northern Exposure. The message is spoken by Marilyn Whirlwind, one of the permanent characters on the show. I can't really say that the story Marilyn tells is based on truth (almost all internet references to this story are from the show), but it's a good story anyway.

Photo by AnsonLu/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by AnsonLu/iStock / Getty Images
The Eagle wasn’t always the Eagle. The Eagle, before he became the Eagle, was Yucatangee, the Talker.
Yucatangee talked and talked. It talked so much it heard only itself. Not the river, not the wind, not even the Wolf. The Raven came and said “The Wolf is hungry. If you stop talking, you’ll hear him. The wind too. And when you hear the wind, you’ll fly.”
So he stopped talking. And became its nature, the Eagle. The Eagle soared, and its flight said all it needed to say.

My take away from this is, if I hear my voice speaking I will know I'm not listening. And when I hear the wind and the river and the wolf (or birds, or laughter, or bees) I will know I am.

This year, and every year, I want the way I live to say all that needs saying, even if a few words leak out from time to time. By the way, these journal posts don't count as words or not listening, because I don't really know if anyone reads them!