Nome can be a ‘gypsy’ community. Anyone who spends a short amount of time here can see the ware it causes on such a small town. People come and go, cars titles and leases change like the weather, and a good sturdy moving box can be a form of currency. With this comes a fair amount of variety. There are almost always new people to meet in Nome, and it is safe to say that only half of the people at your work place will be there 6 months from now. But all these changes have their cost.
There are periods in time, periods where old friends leave and new ones have yet to come in, where one feels utterly alone. Nome can be cold and barren and dark for long periods of time. There are times in the winter where you are stuck indoors distracting your self with crafts and music until the wind calms down to a point where you are no longer afraid to open your door; But this is only temporary and it is easy not to feel alone. There are times in the summer when it is 3am and the day light convinces you to keep hiking just one more mile or to catch just one more salmon, and although you may be by yourself it is easy not to be bothered by being alone when there are fish to catch and dogs to chase.
I feel most alone in the spring time.
When the weather is inviting and the snow holds a slight crunch under your skis it is easy to feel alone in the tundra. It is simple for me to pack my bag and climb a mountain or hike to an abandoned dredge. It is fun for me to snow shoe to the biggest drift on anvil and start to carve a fort in the snow, but for whatever reason when I take off my skis or put down the shovel the silence becomes piercing. The tundra is relentless for brining out loneliness. Even knowing I am only 10 minuets from a warm cup of tea and a town full of people, it is still possible to look out over the thousands of miles of barren tundra and feel completely alone.
That being said, a good friend of mine has taught me to value my loneliness. Any second it could all change and I might never again have these feelings. I have friends with small children and siblings in professional careers who may never have times where they are alone. Being lonely can be a right of passage in life. It has been known to make great heros and influence the greatest leaders, it has also been known to drive people mad. I am still not sure which of these will hold true for me; But while I am alone, I will be happy. I will cherish this time and learn from it and understand that in minuets all of it could change forever.