‘There were no stars; only the darkness and an arctic chill that had intensified since the first thin, blood-red stripes of sunrise began to shimmer on the ocean's horizon around us.
‘The morning was, as I remember, insipidly dim and cold - flurrying falls of flakes, then sleet, followed by blizzarding snow, enveloped our small flotilla of makeshift rafts and reed canoes within a suffocating grip. We had been faring well on the many weeks of the crossing - holding our course to the east, a little to the north - but on this day we were tossed by mounting swells, our minds closed to the direction we should be heading, instead attempting to maintain a closeness to each other’s craft within the escalating churn and crash of breaking waves; the whipping, numbing bite of wind and spray; the creaking, shattering menace of jagged, iridescent-blue ice that tumbled and lurched through the waters about us.
‘The men, my father included, sat rigidly upright, eyelids squeezed tight shut - frozen shut, the elders would later insist - their fur-covered upper bodies encrusted with ice; tormented and thrashed by the full brunt of the weather as they pulled crude wooden paddles through the surge.
‘The women huddled beneath hides of mammoth, slathered in warming fat, exposing their faces only momentarily, now and then, to cry out in shrill, piercing voices as a beacon to our brothers and sisters hidden by the increasing deluge.
‘I, also, crouched under the heavy skins at my father's side, gripping firmly to the warmth and flexing-sinewy-strength of his legs - not afraid because of it.
‘And in that bitter, turbulent darkness, with the new day attempting to dawn, the promise of our future echoed through my mind and we somehow pushed on toward our Family’s place of Emergence into the New World… the Fourth World.'
- First Light
Son of Great White Bear