Our Visit with Mother

 

My wife and I recently went on an Alaskan cruise. We thoroughly enjoyed the trip, especially because we joined her brother and his wife on the cruise. It was great to share the experience with people we know and love.

What I saw, and heard, and smelled, and felt, I will try to share through words and pictures, but I’m telling you now, they will be inadequate. So much breathtaking beauty, unspoiled by humans and their delusions of “progress,” is a feast to be savored. And that’s what I did my best to do.

20190629_124001_film1

20190629_130438_film1

20190629_130457_film1

20190703_154613_film1

20190630_214059_film1

20190701_103354_film1-2

20190704_170643_film1

 

(Expand this photo and you’ll just make out a bear by the stream.)

20190628_122243

 

At a birds of prey sanctuary in Ketchikan, we met Lucy, the bald eagle. She was beautiful. Sorry for the shaky camera work.

 

We embraced, and were embraced by, Mother Nature in all her undisturbed glory. Whales, dolphins, bears, bald eagles, moose, beavers, dall sheep, all in their element. Majestic mountains, glaciers, forests, waterfalls, rivers, and brilliant blue skies.

And, of course, the mighty, mysterious ocean.

All in all, an absolutely amazing trip. And fun, too!

 

Oh, yeah: I spotted a moose.

20190628_092644

 

 

 

 

 

Homewreckers

23328A46-EB40-4D49-94F7-BB9A73C06A44

 

Some things just don’t make sense to me.

I work over in a pretty heavily wooded area, which allows me to still catch an occasional glimpse of raccoons, possums, armadillos, squirrels and even deer as I drive up and down the same road all day.

I enjoy that very much. I love seeing wildlife; it’s my way, however small, of staying connected to nature.

One evening two weeks ago, when it was after dark and I was still driving, I came upon a deer crossing the road. Fortunately, I could stop in plenty of time to avoid hitting him. We just looked at each other for a second, then continued on our way.

A little later that same evening, I saw him again, over in the woods. I stopped a few seconds as we regarded each other again, me admiring the majestic presence of this beautiful animal, him…I don’t know, checking out some goof in a minibus.

And the sight of him thrilled me and saddened me, at the same time.

Because, it reminded me of what we’re doing to his home.

 

Now, I’m not saying we should never build any new roads, or construct any new buildings, in deference to the original inhabitants of this land. I know better.

But, here’s the part that doesn’t make sense:

On the street I drive on all day, what looks like a perfectly good office building sits empty, vacant, unused by anyone.

Meanwhile, more land nearby has been cleared for construction of a new office building.

And I don’t understand.

What’s wrong with the vacant building? Is it in disrepair inside? Wouldn’t it cost less to refurbish it, instead of starting from scratch?

And why do we have to crowd all the animals into an ever shrinking amount of space?

I just can’t help thinking, in our endless zeal to keep building, keep growing, keep expanding, maybe something’s gotten lost along the way.

Something like respect for the land, and the divine creatures that inhabit it.

Honestly, I don’t know what the solution is.

I just know, the last deer I saw was on the side of the road, dead, struck by a vehicle.

And it broke my heart in two.