Gazing into the blue-green depths through this watery portal to the underworld, we don’t see the fiery hell of our imagination, but instead only reflections of our own worlds. Our demons do not dwell in the boiling, stinking waters that ooze from the earth’s bowels. They dance instead in the forests and meadows that surround us. ♨
Voters seem much more in agreement about national parks than just about anything else, but the politics of funding our parks have left them with an enormous backlog of “deferred maintenance.” As a nation we have not been very good at putting our money where our mouth is. The immeasurable value of national parks, though, more than justifies an investment in their future.
The sea lion ambled into view as I leaned over the railing of the Balboa Pier in Newport Beach, California. Was she performing for the excited audience on the pier above? Or did we see ballet through our anthropomorphizing gaze? ♨
The moon rises over the forested horizon as we witness its appearance from the lake shore. How many moonrises have we seen across these waters?
Religion has been an implied value in America’s national park idea from the time of the earliest nineteenth-century parks to the present. But the religious element usually remains buried in visitors’ private aesthetic responses to park experiences and attractions. Rarely do specific theological views appear in the parks, even in unofficial activities or park uses. Certainly, the National Park Service…
Warren Angus Ferris visited Yellowstone in 1834 as the first tourist to experience the thermal features, and the first person known to use the Icelandic word “geyser” to describe them.