Wednesday, July 05, 2006

the Only Kayak




















We talk about how the world is changing, but what we're really talking about is how we are changing the world. It doesn't have to be. I've yet to see a man improve a tree.
- Kim Heacox


I just finished reading a special book, "the Only Kayak" by Kim Heacox. I'm not going to say much about it because I think you should read the book, not a summary. Some books can be summarized. This one can't.

Kim Heacox moved to Alaska over twenty years ago and has lived there ever since. It is a book about place, about belonging to it and coming to terms with its changes whether you like them or not.

I find the way I learned about this book quite serendipitous and a story in and of itself.

A few weeks ago, I decided to take a City Parks and Recreation rafting trip down our local river. I decided the day before and as I usually am with these trips, was slightly apprehensive going alone and not knowing what the other registrants would be like. This group was made up of a few families and an older couple. The wife of this couple had a "Bookwoman" t-shirt on. This was all I needed to start a conversation and to ultimately end up on the same raft with them.

It turns out they knew a woman I work with. Small world I live in. I was already pegged as an idealist feminist. Then when rafters started talking about movies, I mentioned "An Inconvenient Truth." The raft guide made some offhand comment about Gore that I ignored while the husband of the couple recommended that I read "the Only Kayak," as I was obviously interested in environmental issues.

Little did he know that I had just returned from an impactful cruise to Glacier Bay, where Kim Heacox lives. I love how he and his partner live simply, how the land, their community, and their love is what is important to them. As Kim befriended his lifelong friends and his place of peace, so did I.

If I hadn't taken that cruise, I may not have been motivated to read this book. If this description resonates with you, I hope you will read this book. That is all I can say.

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