INCIDENTS OF My TRAVELS to
NEVER SEEKING ADVENTURE YET ADVENTURE FINDS ME
The man becomes a quick trusted friend whose influence stays with me for decades...
Jim is an avid reader admitting that often he is reading a few books at a time. Yet for this trip he brought with him only one book that he would read voraciously on lapsed times. His choice for this expedition: Farley Mowat’s The Siberians. A study on how human nature perseveres when forced to live in an unhospitable environment as the frozen Siberian landscape. Instead of conquering the harsh landscape they utilize it in their routines, construction and all. Jim would later state that he only reads subjects that educate, informs him on the unknown if something is learned from its pages then it is a good book. My book of choice on this outing was ‘Star Trek the Movie’ adaptation penned by Gene Roddenberry, to my shame particularly since this was my second reading of it.
Jim is the first environmentalist that I have met. I would meet plenty more in the coming spring after the Exon Valdez spill would render our island a disaster area but for now he was the first whose passion for the environment defined his character. He loved nature. He would go out of his way to keep the status quo and put back what was borrowed. Always with a quip on how we need to maintain this beauty around us. One day I was drinking one of our last soft drinks just as we started our hike out. Finishing it I thoughtlessly crumpled the can and threw it into the tall grass. Angry, he stopped me and threatened that he was going to find that can and stuff it in my pillow. Telling me on how this discarded piece threatens the environment and even the wildlife having to live here long after we leave. How that piece of metal will forever be there, a blight on the landscape.
I was shocked at his reaction. It was just a can. This was never a consideration back home, I would never think of the consequences of any detritus thoughtlessly tossed aside. Somehow I thought everything disintegrated in time. In hindsight of my naiveté I now see his point. Witnessing the strain our planet has suffered with all the pollution since that point in time I too take this abuse personally. But at the time I was unforgivably oblivious.
His influence remained long after our brief expedition, about ten years later I find myself reprimanding my own father on our final family trip. At the Grand Canyon we camped on the ridge, he stressed with my mother’s progressive illness this trip was to meant to distract us from the inevitable. He realized that a refrigerator holding vital medication was never turned on possibly ruining the batch; he broke his sunglasses in his frustration and disgusted with his error proceeds to throw them over the edge of the canyon. I yelled at him on how they will be there centuries from now how carelessness will shorten the beauty of our natural wonders. I, of course, immediately felt guilt over my treating my father as a petulant child. Obviously he felt guilt over this and almost went to look for the discarded glasses.
I regret it even more for my treasured parents’ presence would be far shorter than cheap Chinese plastic littered on the canyon floor. This, as I said, was our last family trip. Both of them would sadly be lost to me by the fall of that same year.
Pardon the pause as I dry my eyes…
I am reminded on something my father said to me once, we are just wisps of mist on the morning plains, our hopes and dreams lost as soon as they are realized and the world continues her cadence, none the wiser that we ever here.
This was the influence of Jim, meaning well, I adopted his love for the environment. Love for all of nature and in his own way protecting the world by leaving it as it was found.
About the Author
I have always ended up in unexpected places. So I present a collection of my tales told over the years. Places that due to circumstances I might never go on my own accord.