Uĝnaasaqax̂ [warmed (sheltered)]

Unga, the name for the town and island where my grandfather was born, is shortened from Uĝnaasaqax̂, meaning warmed, being sheltered on Delarof Harbor, at the southeast island tip. Time, like the north wind, freezes us in our beds. We don’t remember our names, we die, our families grieve, and our friends forget us. But a place is immortal, a trick of the shape of land and sea, a source of fresh water, a line in a poem that children learn, as long as there’s a reason, it gives us shelter.