my little fry
I was waiting for Mountain Dad somewhere. I can't recall exactly where, but I was holding out Little Man in my arms and someone leaned into us to say hi. A total stranger but with a friendly open face.
"Yukon born," he said, in that lilt I often hear in the voices of people who have been in the territory a lot longer than us.
It was a statement, not a question. I smiled and agreed.
"He's like the salmon now," our new friend continued, "he'll always come back."
And then he was shuffling off. No response required from me at all. Just a prediction, an acknowledgement of some kind.
A whole bunch of thoughts barreled through me as I processed the comment; curiosity towards this friendly stranger. Pride in my Yukon-born baby and the connection he has with the people of this land, both those newly arrived and not. Amusement at the irony of life - just as my Mum lives with the longing of a child far from her embrace, so it seems that my own children may swim away from me.
I always envisioned my life as firmly rooted in Australia. Even though I might now find myself creating a roost a long way from her golden shores, I do still call Australia home. And have always imagined that my off-spring would do likewise.
This sage stranger reminded me that perhaps those sweet off-spring of mine may be more likened to Salmon-fry than a boomer's joey.
Or perhaps I'll just keep thinking of them as my Mountain Kid's; sure-footed climbers able to travel between Eco-systems and herd groups. And both sport excellent winter coats.