Recalling a magical day in Yellowstone National Park that changed our lives and sent us on a journey that we are still traveling forty years later.
The end of September was a quiet time in Yellowstone National Park, and beautiful beyond words. Warm days, cold nights, golden aspen mixed among the dark ridges of pine.
Even though it is a national park with all of the complicated and historically shifting meanings associated with parks, Yellowstone is also (simultaneously) many other places as well.
The history of Freemasonry in Yellowstone National Park coincides with its role in a larger religious history of the American west as agents and evangelists for Manifest Destiny.
The land is philosopher. It teaches through patient being that knowing is as futile and useless as believing. Things are, circumstances unfold and collapse, and reality persists.
America has long been confused about whether nature is for us to adore and enjoy, or for us to profit from. This confusion has been painfully clear in our divisive attitudes toward national parks.
The earliest detailed map of Yellowstone was likely a collaboration between Jesuit missionary Pierre-Jean De Smet and mountain man Jim Bridger. ♨
Mountain man Joe Meek’s first summer of fur trapping in 1829, which put him among the earliest of non-indigenous people to enter Yellowstone.
An imaginative creation story of Yellowstone National Park inspired by scientific understandings of the universe.
Review of Permanent Vacation: Twenty Writers on Work and Life in Our National Parks, edited by Kim Wyatt (Bona Fide Books, 2011), an assortment of short recollections by writers who lived and worked in national parks. Sometimes adventurous, even frightening, often poetic, this collection offers intimate views rarely experienced by the millions who enjoy American national parks each year. ♨
A Piegan hunting party took the Jesuit missionary Francis Kuppens to Yellowstone in 1866. Awestruck by the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, amazed by the steaming fountains of geysers erupting skyward and the brilliant colors of scalding hot springs, the young Black Robe understood the glory of a God who had created such a magical and mysterious land of wonders. ♨
Ensconced in an alabaster landscape beneath a darkly sodden sky, porcelain jewels effuse their turquoise wisdom. We contemplate in this lifeless land a frightening prospect for a world relinquished to its acidic origins.