Guess a man needs an upset now and then to remind him that he doesn’t know as much as he thinks he does.
-Dick Proenneke, One Man’s Wilderness
It has been such a roller coaster this year so far. I’ve read One Man’s Wilderness many times since I bought the book on my first trip to Alaska ten years ago. We need these hiccups, especially in our interactions with Mother Nature, to help us remember our place. We are part of the greater ecosystem, not in charge of, despite the common perspective of our culture.
Yesterday’s experience with the older lady from south Texas on the ice made the quote stand out further to me.
My fear of going down the steep, narrow section of trail, and the woman’s fear of ice and falling, were enough to make me ponder. We each need to get out there and test ourselves. We aren’t all-powerful and we can only conquer what we try.
Remember this picture? I posted it on Facebook a few weeks ago, asking people what this looked like. Or what these colors brought to mind:
Lots of people responded with answers from ‘shamrock’ to ‘Princess Leia’. With apologies to Star Wars, I had something a bit different in mind. The colors reminded me of the meadows and pine trees I’d just walked though earlier that day. Most of Rocky Mountain National Park was still under snow, but I found a lower meadow near the east entrance and just walked through the not-yet-green meadow. While the ground looked somewhat bare this time of year (after the snows had melted but before the shrubs, grasses, and flowers had greened up for the year), there was a lot of green to be seen in the trees.
(Yes, that is Longs Peak in the distance, but the point is the trees.)
Anyway, I saw those colors and knew I could surround myself with that landscape, at least figuratively, whenever I wanted. The result are these:
What do you think?