Meditations and Lore from a Canoeist's Life
- HarperCollins Canada
- Initial publish date
- Jul 2010
- Publish Date
- Jul 2010
- List Price
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Tumblehome: a term to describe the way the side of a canoe arcs inward toward the center, toward home.
James Raffan has always followed his own arc in life. Like his mentor and friend Bill Mason, Raffan has taken his love of the wilderness and integrated it into his life and his work, becoming not just a master canoeist and outdoorsman, but an accomplished and thoughtful writer. In Tumblehome, Raffan explores the notion that canoeing has the power to teach and transform us, even if the closest we’ve come to the wilderness is in front of the Discovery Channel.
Tumblehome is written in a series of vignettes that cover a breadth of wilderness experience and a wide-ranging timeline, from Raffan’s early childhood to the present. Many of the essays are funny: in “Wet Wellies and Frozen Drawers” Raffan discovers that compared to the lessons learned from riding floes of spring ice, school looks rather easy. Others are about connecting: in “The Glow of Green Eyes” a chance encounter with an Arctic wolf engenders hope instead of fear. Some offer an epiphany: in “River of Life” the migration of the magnificent caribou creates a sense of infinite wonder and comfort in the cyclical patterns underpinning both human and natural worlds.
In the tradition of Sharon Butala’s Coyote’s Morning Cry, Tumblehome is evocative and affirming, a testament to the power of nature and the author’s gift of intelligent and lyrical interpretation. Packaged in a compact and artful hardcover format, this is a wonderful book for canoeists and outdoor enthusiasts, and an inspirational guide for all those who know that the world of natureis very much a part of their own spiritual landscape.
About the author
James Raffan is a prolific writer, speaker, and geographer, and the author of numerous books, including the bestselling Circling The Midnight Sun; Emperor Of The North; Bark, Skin And Cedar; and Fire In The Bones. He has written for a variety of media outlets, including National Geographic, Canadian Geographic, Up Here, Explore and The Globe and Mail, and produced radio and television documentaries for CBC Radio and the Discovery Channel. His work has taken him all over the world. He is an international fellow of the Explorers Club, a past chair of the Arctic Institute of North America, and a fellow and past governor of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, service for which he was awarded many medals, including the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. From 2010 to 2013, he traveled through the Arctic Circle, spending time in Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Alaska, Canada, and Greenland, as he researched and wrote on culture and climate change in the North. He lives in Seeley’s Bay, Ontario. Visit him at JamesRaffan.ca or follow him on Twitter @raffjam.
Other titles by James Raffan
A Polar Bear's Journey through the Fragile Arctic
Circling The Midnight Sun
Dazed but Not Confused
Tales of a Wilderness Wanderer
Fire In The Bones
Bill Mason and the Canadian Canoeing Tradition
Bark, Skin And Cedar
Reflections on the Canoe in the Canadian Experience
Emperor Of The North
Sir George Simpson and the Remarkable Story of the Hudson's Bay Company
Courage, Character and the Lake Timiskaming Canoeing Tragedy
The Lure of Faraway Places
Reflections on Wilderness and Solitude
Every Trail Has a Story
Heritage Travel in Canada