This excerpt is from the book on my Alaskan Adventures from 1996-2014. (Click here to find it)
After dancing on the glacier, we made our obligatory souvenir shop stops in downtown Anchorage. Who would travel to a place so far away without a drink at the fountain of the local market? They are the same in almost every city around the world. Depending on the level of civilization, they may differ in quality and source. The third world countries offer higher quality hand-made items while the first world countries carry cheap assembly line look-alikes. But the variety and types bear no striking difference. Small statues of local animals, t-shirts and sweatshirts decked the halls, rocks carved into various local shapes and figures, ball caps, cigarette lighters, candy, stuffed animals, etc. Small symbols of a traveler’s experiences made to be purchased and then taken home and placed on a shelf to serve as small windows through which one can return to a time when the worries of life were put on temporary hold in order to experience a glimpse of eternity. Isn’t that what vacation is anyway, an opportunity to experience the life we long for, which in reality can only be found on the other side of the wormhole of life? Much like the wardrobe in C.S. Lewis’ chronicles of life with the Maker (buy it here), we step through and get a glimpse of what life is really all about and then we return without a minute lost to the world that has been corrupted by things that really don’t even matter. Those impostors seem to pull the curtains to what is really going on behind the scenes, a beautiful story of the redemption of Creation.
I always thought it unusual when we hit the pause button of life and journey to an unknown land. A fresh perspective on life usually accompanies us as we travel. A week or a month later, the time doesn’t really matter, we return to the “reality” that we left. Nothing has changed. In fact, it almost seems that time stopped when we left, or even worse goes backwards and leaves us behind on schedules and deadlines. It’s almost as if I can feel the wild and free self that I find on the journey being sucked right out by the reality that I find when I return. The truth is that the reality is in the freedom we find when peering through the window of what will be on the other side of the wormhole.
Maybe that’s what the gypsies were looking for in this journey. Maybe that is what the Maker had in mind when he whispered in Scott’s ear in that little college town apartment a few months before. Maybe He wanted to let us peer for a moment through the window in order to have a clearer view of Him. Maybe he wanted us to start our adult lives through the filter of reality… the Maker’s reality. A reality that sometimes gets drowned out in the day-to-day grind of 21st century America.