“He lives in a yurk,” I hear my mother state to a friend over the phone. I instantly assume that whom ever she is talking to, has never heard of a “yurk”.
“Yes, a yurk in Kelly, Wyoming. It’s glorified round-house,” she rebuttals to her friend who asks for a “yurk” description and location.
I laugh to myself, picturing Chuck Norris delivering a “glorified round-house” to the face of evil as Walker, Texas Ranger.
The phone conversation ends. I feel obliged to tell my mother that my home is not a “yurk” but a yurt.
“Oh, a yurt,” she retorts. “Yurk, yurt, what’s the difference?”
I internally grumble that there is a huge difference, but say nothing. Another conversation ends.
A yurt, rondavel, ger: a list of the different names for round structures inhabited by humans dotting the globe. Round structures that eliminate the terms house and corner, and instantly become home.
Yes, I live in a canvas yurt, 20 feet in diameter, in Kelly, Wyoming. My home sits on the edge of the Gros Ventre River, near the base of the Tetons, and on the border that separates 10,000 square foot vacation homes from blue-collar structures like this.
The walls are about an inch thick. They are supported by a latticework of wood that presently responds to blowing wind. The roof sounds like a snare drum roll as the rain falls. I look through the glass dome at the apex of the roof, and see that the stars are hidden tonight. I step outside; the cool damp autumn air blankets my skin. I knew it was there, but I have been warming its presence with a crackling wood fire.
This is my home, a yurt, in Kelly, Wyoming, on a damp October night. Its’ structure and function is a continuous reminder that the natural world beyond is alive and ever changing. It puts me closer to the place from which WE came, tickling that subconscious itch of being connected to the Earth and dynamically alive. And this is why I love my home.