Sitting on a bed of sand facing south, I stare at the cool and refreshing Bering Sea. To my left, a most big and beautiful full moon rises in the east. To my right, a most brilliant and glorious sun sets in the west.
The few hiccups of the workday seem long past now, after an evening full of good company, good fun, and good smores. There’s nothing better than a beach bonfire with a little dancing, yogi-ing, sea glass searching, gold panning, and swimming in the not-so-cold Bering Sea.
With summer bringing out its best lately, we’ve all been taking full advantage of the bounties this land has to offer. This week alone was jam-packed with setting and retrieving a gill-net, learning to fillet the salmon fresh from the net (along with the multiple ways of how to prepare and preserve), picking (and eating) blueberries off the tundra (along with the creation and consumption of fresh blueberry pancakes and delight), and a long overdue hike through Copper Canyon (complete with a calming cat-nap at Salmon Lake and a refill of water bottles in the mountain spring before heading home).
Alaska is home to adventure and the adventurer. In part, that is why I came here. To embark on an adventure to Western Alaska, learning the world of radio and all it has to offer its listeners of the region. Another part, was the inner adventure. Could I do it? Leave the only home I’d known for the twenty-two odd years to live for a year in such a far away place?
Spoiler Alert: I did it. Well, almost. A few weeks left. But for the most part, the year is quickly coming to a close. My old Vol-fam has already started to depart, and some of the new have begun their new and exciting journey.
I won’t lie: it wasn’t easy to watch the first go, and I don’t think it will get easier. I am, however, learning to accept the changes that are going on. It is becoming bittersweet.
It’s been great being able to meet the new vols and seeing what new dynamics the coming year will take. As the last volunteer in, I didn’t get to know most of last year’s crew. In contrast, I’ve enjoyed passing on the torch so to speak, showing them around, introducing them to new people and places, and orienting them in their new home for the year. They are most definitely a fun bunch full of life and ready for the challenge. They totally got this. The station is in good hands.
At times I check in on family and friends at home and miss the annual summer shenanigans that go on. But then I think about what I’m living and experiencing here, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson