I made you, Paddle Person, because I had a dream. A little wooden man smiled at me. He sat in a canoe on a snowbank on this hill. Now the dream has begun to come true. The Sun Spirit will look down at the snow. The snow will melt and the water will run downhill to the river, on down to the Great Lakes, down again and on at last to the sea. You will go with the water and you will have adventures that I would like to have. But I cannot go with you because I have to help my father with the traps.Paddle-to-the-Sea, folks. The story of an Indian boy who sent a toy canoe on a journey he himself was too young to take. We do the same thing, you know. Voyager, Pioneer, Galileo: our standard bearers in the eternal human crusade, exploration. And now we've hit the cosmic trail. Why? Old Earth's played out. Less than a hundred years ago, Amundsen could be the first human being to reach the South Pole, and Falcon Scott could die trying. Now? Well, last year China had to close Mount Everest; too much litter. The world's become a fragile place, not to be conquered, but to be protected, coddled, nursed like a baby.
For that instant he looked like his own paddle. There was a song in his heart. It crept to his lips, but only the water and the wind could hear. You, little traveler, you made the journey, the long journey. You now know things I have yet to know, little traveler. You are a given a name, a true name in my father's lodge. Good medicine, little traveler. You are truly a paddle person. A paddle to the sea.There you have it, folks. I'd like to play this song for Richard McWilliams and to the curious child who lives within each and every one of us.
Tags: Chris-in-the-Morning, Northern Exposure, Final Frontier, Holling C. Holling, Paddle-to-the-Sea