I don’t mean it to sound like I really hated my childhood.. Honestly, the older I get, the more I realize it’s the opposite.
This town sheltered my childhood. I grew up around complete families. I grew up surrounded by culture, and diversity. I grew up in a community of adopted children, and through that, my eyes were opened to the huge world outside my little island. I grew up enmeshed in the local Native culture, and through that understood the concept of respect. And I grew up in a town that is probably 75% wild nature, and through that I developed knowledge of more than just human culture. I watched our beloved Glacier slowly melt away, and understood that what we do really does matter. Climate Change is real. I remember the Exxon Valdez oil spill in ’89, and understood that life is more than just we see on land. I saw a wolf on the ice, I watched from a distance as it tipped its head back and howled, and I realized some things TV and Photos just can’t capture. That there is a real world out there, and first hand is sometimes the only way to really experience it.
It took me years to realize. But it all soaked into my development as I lived and grew. No one had to teach it to me. Like my mother never tought me her Spaghetti recipe, but I know it. Like my father never tought me how to shell fresh shrimp, but I know how.
I ran away from my childhood once I finished High School. I washed away the memories and never wanted to go back.
Juneau, Alaska was where I spent 20 years of my life. It is my childhood. I knew culture, I knew nature, I knew Love.
I simply mean to say, that through this return, I have realized that it is no longer my home. All things continue to move, and I had moved on. It wasn’t for me to stay there.
(Photo credits from 11 years ago.)