“Drink this, it will make you feel better and help you regain some strength.” The man spoke perfect English with a well-bred accent. “My name is Colin.” He makes a shallow oriental-like bow. I notice the man to be of white European features unlike the more Inuit mongoloid look of the others. “I am from the Harmony monastery. I will take you there for safety and shelter.” He looks at me and smiles, motioning me not to talk.
I muster a smile and nod of appreciation. For some strange reason, momentarily I slip into my glib bar persona and look at him and say, “I know I’m not dead – they don’t make angels that ugly.” Colin gives me a puzzled smile, bows then turns away. I hear him introduce himself to the others. Introductions completed, the sleds are loaded and we travel methodically over this barren landscape of snow, ice, and rock. I think how the snow-laden barrens look like an ocean storm in suspended animation. The snowdrifts appear like frozen waves. The snow blowing over the drifts and across the land looks like frozen ocean spray.
Throughout the journey I drift in and out of consciousness for minutes, hours or days I couldn’t tell you. The time of day was difficult to assess. It was gray and dreary with overcast skies. It could have been a dark day or light night; we were in the latitudes of the permanent day or night. Lulled by the sound of creaking snow being crushed by the men and their sleds, these sounds become my reference point, my sonic blanket of existence. I was startled at the occasional command and encouragement directed towards the dogs.
We stop periodically to rest the dogs and receive warm liquids. Recognizing our weakened condition our guides strap us to the dogsleds to ensure our safety. Never venturing from the safety of the sleds none of us have the opportunity to talk to one another. The terrain is getting decisively more rugged and hilly in this desert of snow. There are protruding rocks and boulders at increased intervals with what seem to be a mountainous region looming in the near distance.
Travelling towards the dark ominous highland mountain area, which now seems to engulf my horizon, I sense a vision like I have been here before. A deja vu feeling, perhaps from a dream or past life, although I am not a great believer of psychic phenomena, witchcraft or reincarnation. Periodically I have had these similar visions. They are really unexplainable. I just accept them believing, as long as I experience them periodically, my life must be on the right track. Often, the actual circumstance and scene in which the original vision occurs has no bearing on the real-time event triggering my sensory recollection. I feel somewhat relieved at the vision; it feels like a comfort zone for me, something familiar in this unfamiliar situation. The organic movement of the sled makes my body feel heavy, gently being rocked by the unevenness of the terrain, slowly I drift into another sleep.