By Patricia J. Angus
The glistening glacial ice teases me, enticing me to explore the wonders of the wilderness below the plane’s confining space. It allures me. The excitement surges like the swelling Sea, and I feel the rush. Not for gold, but for nature at its best. Surrounded by God’s handiwork, I breathe the freshness of the mountain air and feel the wind press tartly against my face. The rawness of the beauty is addictive. It invites me to live with all my senses taking in the splendor of this place. And I collect golden nuggets to cherish for a lifetime.
They say my grandfather came here once. He was nearly a man prospecting with his pan — for gold. I wonder what he thought as he looked upon this naked land and shivered in the cold. Perhaps his thoughts were filled with want of food and girls and home. Where did his adventure lead? Did he sail the Inside Passage or pack across the Bush? Did he climb the Golden Staircase or dig beneath the earth? Where did he go? What did he see? I want to be — where he — once was.
Chills ascend my spine, and I hear him near as branches rustle from behind me on the trail. I am overtaken, and relieved with awe, as the eagle’s outstretched wings emerge in stately grandeur. Another time and place I see my djed again, he flashed across the road before my eyes like lightning – I thought I saw a Montenegrin buck, tall and nimble and proud. Smells of mountain flowers remind me of his highland home a world away, but he is with me here, in this rugged wilderness of dreams. Because, once here, always here in heart and mind.
I visit often when I feel the need, in state of reverie. I walk along the rocky beach to gather pieces of polished glass and taste the salty breeze. I listen to whales in all their glory and giggles of children fishing by light of midnight sun. I chuckle at otters who gleefully lounge in the waves, and I pet the starfish clinging to mossy stones. I gaze reverently at bears who take my breath away. These nuggets are remembrances, thriving within my soul – not just lumps of gold.
(c) 2013 Patricia J. Angus