Earth Day Perspective
22 April 2020 | Crested Butte, Colorado
I hope you are doing well and staying safe in this unprecedented time. Being isolated while dealing with an uncertain future is not easy. For my part, a lot of these feelings mimic my thoughts while on big expeditions. I've always said that the best way to be successful is to not have another choice. But being successful is not easy.
I have endured some very low moments on my adventures... and big failures as well. Out on the ice for weeks and months at a time, it is hard to describe all the stress and pain. Last year in Antarctica, I spent nearly three weeks skiing in mostly whiteout conditions. Many days, I would spend over 12 hours skiing in absolute sensory deprivation. It's like being in a dark room before your eyes adjust, but instead of everything being black, it's white. The inside of a ping pong ball. No horizon. No up or down.
Of course, these are situations that we knowingly put ourselves in so they contrast greatly to the thousands of people who have suffered through our current pandemic. Still, the danger is real and the hardship is all encompassing. Things shrink quickly into two categories: things that help or hinder your survival.
Regardless of the outcome, success or otherwise, I've realized that each of these incredible arduous experiences have left me with a new perspective. A better way of looking at the world. More patience. Life for everyone is outside the norm and problematic right now. What is going to happen tomorrow or next week - who knows? Knowing that at some point it will get better and that the lessons learned will be hard won and incredibly valuable. That's perspective and it is a useful tool.
The picture taken of Earth with the moon in the foreground was taken by Apollo astronaut William Anders in 1968 was called "the most influential environmental photograph ever taken" by nature photographer Galen Rowell. That change in perspective was an important catalyst for Earth Day.
I am writing to share my 'Call of the Wild' Earth Day tribute video with you. I actually created and shared this last year but wanted to resend it as it is still a relevant message to share. (My original plan was to create a new video, but Covid sliced my production budget to zero.) Now more than ever, I feel that we could use a little inspiration as well as reminder that we do have the power to create change.
The love and concern for our environment is something I have always known. Growing up in Wisconsin, I was outside as much as possible - camping fishing, riding my bike... But back then, my mind didn't stretch much farther than my own backyard. For that, I credit writers like Farley Mowat, Sigurd Olsen, Barry Lopez and many others who were able to describe places of which I barely knew existed. They were some of my biggest sources of inspiration and their words instilled a longing to experience true wilderness for myself. But Robert Service's 'The Call of the Wild', more than any of the others, stirred an unrelenting aching to grab my pack and go.
Thank you in advance for sharing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjgwtFsd1V8