I titled this blog today from the well loved children’s book, “Where The Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak. I did this because the title of this book came to my mind as I was reflecting about Alaska. You see, we have just returned from a two week vacation to the “wildest place” I have visited in the United States, Alaska. I feel like I have been to sacred ground. Alaska is truly “holy ground” in my humble opinion.
In the book, Where The Wild Things Are”, the young child, Max, goes on a imaginary journey across the seas, to the a special place where the “Wild Things” live. He meets huge and mysterious creatures in this land. This is how I felt when I visited Glacier Bay, Kenai Fjords and Denali National Parks. These lands are so pure, untouched and unspoiled. They are filled with wildlife that had been left to flourish and roam. Frankly, I was awestruck, speechless and almost in tears several times during our visit to these parks.
As I think back on our Camino walk across the breath of Spain, I now wonder what the lands were like when those first pilgrims, that did the walk so many, many years ago. How pure and unspoiled were these lands? During much of our walk, we were not really in the “wild land” but mostly land “conquered” by man. So many of the great forests and wild animals of Europe were “harvested” till they no longer existed. I guess this is what hit me so hard from our trip to Alaska. There are still some places we can go to immerse ourselves in the “pure and wild”. Oh, how thankful I am for this!
We owe a debt of gratitude and thanks to those before us that fought so hard to preserve these lands as National Parks, Wilderness Areas and National Monuments. I was particularly grateful for how Denali National Park has been managed with its restrictions on how visitors experience the park. Sometimes it seems we are our own worst enemies, when we love something so much we cannot seem to get enough. We smother it and in the process we destroy its “wild and pure” nature.
May we never lose our special wild places and wildlife untouched and pure! May we “take off our shoes” when we visit these special places and travel through them as if it is “holy land” to be treasured and respected and with the pledge to “leave no trace”. We do this so these special places remain untouched for our future generations to experience and be changed by their visits.
Blessings and grace to you all,
P.S. The image at the top of this blog is obviously not from our Camino walk as I usually do but from our trip into Denali National Park. This grizzly bear was roaming through across the land like he owned the place, and he does!
Photograph of the Month
This image was captured during our Alaska trip in Fairbanks. I picked it today to go with this blog because I struggled to capture the vastness and “wild-ness” of Alaska. It is easier for me to capture the small and little landscapes sometimes with my macro photography. I found this leaf just like this and did not set it up this way (but I have definitely been known to do that!).