The group had been set for months. They knew each other well. They were also looking forward to sharing the Alaskan wilderness together. Photography was a shared passion.
I do not know what happened. I received a call with a footnote. One has had to drop out of our group. Are you willing to join? Even as I heard the words, I knew my answer was yes. It would be a few days before I knew if the invitation was real. Another’s potential tragedy was my opening for an adventure.
With a confirmed invitation, the introductions began. First was the group leader, then others. I found myself introduced as a character in an old story. “When Apollos decided to go on to Achaia province, his Ephesian friends gave their blessing and wrote a letter of recommendation for him, urging the disciples there to welcome him with open arms. The welcome paid off: Apollos turned out to be a great help to those who had become believers through God’s immense generosity.” (Acts 18.27)
I hope that my presence turns out like Apollos. Time will tell. In the interim, I find myself chasing bears with my camera and like-minded photographers. My experience with these individuals is already altering my perceptions of the world around me.
No matter how aware one might think s/he is, another can see what you cannot.
Everyone has a story to tell. Listening opens one up to seeing beyond today’s horizons.
A peaceful scene is never what it seems. Violence can erupt anywhere.
I am in a place where mobiles do not work and an Internet connection is sporadic. There are no televisions or commercial radios. Life is basic and direct. It is different and yet it is the same. We live in a family. Life is shaped by our relationships. Getting along is a lot easier than fighting.
Alaska’s wilderness encourages one to see without complexity. When I compare this place to what I am used to, it seems different. In my heart, I know the world is more like Alaska than different.