Ness Creek Fire and Ice- An Ode To Winter
By Tracey Lee Albertini
It was a typical Canadian winter day with the snow softly falling all around us, crisp air, blue skies and the forest enveloping our space. We put on our cross country skis and snowshoes and headed out onto the trails that encompassed the Ness Creek site.
The air was fresh and the silence was welcome. I felt alive and at peace in this winter playground. My partner and I with good friends skied up to a sacred circle of logs over the frozen Ness Creek. We sat in silence and gratitude for a few moments.
It wasn’t too cold and we were looking forward to the activities of snow carving, the fire whip and of course, the melting man. We’ve all heard about the ‘Burning Man’, but what could be better on a cold winters’ day in early March than an event around melting?
He was crafted of snow and ice with a crown and eyes of crystals. It was the Nordic Forest God, a budda-like entity offering up Saturn to the fire gods!
Saturn was positioned in the sky above Saskatchewan and she was giving way to the spring equinox and new adventures to come perhaps!
The melting man was a way to celebrate the coming of spring and still enjoy the waning days of winter.
Winter in Canada however, especially in the west, has been known to show her face, even in August. What a better way than to get out and play in this beautiful winter wonderland in North West Saskatchewan.
Ness Creek is always a magical place that always brings with it a sense of wonderment and kid-like awe. Surrounding places did not have much snow, but this wonderful forest retreat did.
It was nice to be outside and not plugged in behind the computer or four walls. Oh, to hear the crunching of the snow, feel the air on our face, hold hands and be one with nature was so needed after weeks of being stuck inside! Chili dogs by the fire or pulled pork on a bun was a yummy meal option. The Canadian candle burned to welcome guests to the site. This is a log vertically split into four sections with coals put on top to burn down within the middle slowly. It is quite the sight!
The melting man, fireworks and singing around the fire, communing with great friends was amazing but what rounded out the event for me and my partner was the cozy wood-fired sauna near the cabins!
The sauna warmed you up, as well as invigorated you as you ran out and rolled in the fresh snow, only to complete the process a few more times until you were truly relaxed. Hot and cold alternating has great health benefits!
It was a great March event that combined connecting with friends and loved ones in a magical Canadian forest. We bid adieu to the winter and hasten a wish for an early spring. We leave with the knowledge that winter plays her part in quietening our minds, opening our hearts to the beauty of nature and that silence has a melody all of her own at Ness Creek in Big River.