“Stuff your eyes with wonder, he said, live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.”
Alaska is beautiful, especially as the weather grows warmer. We have wild roses growing through the front porch and the sky, with it's parade of puffy clouds, is the definition of vast. Unfortunately the mosquitoes seem to have formed loosely knit gangs that attack as soon as I step out the door, so long hikes are out for the time being, which means I'm largely house bound. I get up each morning and fast walk the 30 feet to work where I wait on a slew of interesting tourists and truckers traveling up and down the Dalton Highway. Most of them ask where I'm from which leads to a stock answer, something like “New Hampshire by way of New Orleans” and then they ask what brought me to Alaska to which I answer “Louisiana was getting hot so I picked the farthest point north.” It's like a script now that I recite ten to fifty times a day. And there's the issue. Each day here is very similar to the last one and the perpetual sunshine just adds to the feeling of a never ending loop.
Now, I'm not saying this is necessarily a bad thing. If anything it's made me appreciate the little stuff, the slight variations like a cook that makes a special employee meal or a pair of chatty bicyclists. It also occurs to me that very often we are given things to occupy us, like television, shopping, driving, eating out. Did you ever read Fahrenheit 451? Bradbury wasn't just warning against a world where books were outlawed, though that's what people always pick up on, he was warning against a world where we no longer had the “leisure to digest” information. A world where we were constantly kept busy, so busy that there was no time to wonder about ourselves and our world, to analyze the information in books. I think that's been the gift of Alaska, that I have so much time to think now and, while it can be a little overwhelming, it's lead to some interesting choices.
|My house in the woods|
So I'm adapting, maybe so much so that my planned one month of city life will be too much of a shock.