Living behind the walls of quilted insulation and heavy materials. A thin 20 year old quilt failed to reliably place my over imaginative mind at ease as I slide into bed. But, most times I simply was too tired to even care and the wood stove kept me plenty warm to worry about a real door with hinges. I convinced myself most days that I was doing my yurt right, by living an authentic model of a nomadic lifestyle without troubling myself with the western idea that a door with hinges is a must. The quilt gave it a “vintage” property that could only be inherited from a mother. I had saved it from being thrown into the trash with many reassuring sentiments, that the over loved, batting missing quilt would find a purpose if only given the chance.
Thus the quilt was pinned to my door frame so that I might be able to move in and live in my own yurt. The thin batting and the enthusiasm of my wood stove was my only protection against the elements.
Like every night, I tucked the corners of the quilt into the frame to minimize the escape of the warmth. I sat beside the fire. I opened the damper and loaded the stove with round logs to last the night. The yurt was already a stifling 75F, but there was no telling if the morning would bring more chill. There is nothing I hate more than waking to the cold. I peeled the seven quilts that lay atop my bed back to free the poor weighted mattress.
A certain stillness settled as I heard dad turn off the generator and I feel asleep to the wind forcing the trees to bend.
I heard it clearly. I made no mistake. The steps over old snow could not be hidden, for the hard layer made too much noise to be blamed on the wind. The steps became louder and more distinct as they emerged from the trees behind my yurt and ventured closer. They ceased as the creature stood before the flimsy quilt that moved in and out of the yurt with the breath of the wind. Petrified with fear, I dared not turn on my phone and call dad, for fear of whatever or whoever seeing the light illuminate my yurt through the skylight.
Two long minutes passed and the steps began again, headed towards the driveway. Pulling out my phone, I made the call to my parents in the house. Armed and ready to find the culprit, dad makes his way toward my yurt with our flashlight nicknamed the “beacon” because of it’s bright arms that extend into the darkness without difficulty.
For a greater part of an hour we looked for what would have came through the woods, but no tracks could be seen in the ice and the beams only reached so far into the trees. A moose it must be, a likely explanation that I would accept. Needless to say, with fear still lingering in my mind and adrenaline forcing my knees to give way, I slept beside the hearth and warm fire in mom and dads cabin to ease my mind.