william and patuk

Alaska runs deep in our blood and bones. When you are from here, you belong, in the same way that a flower belongs to soil, or roots belong to a tree. She is the hard place to live. But she rewards those who cradle into her arms. Those who seek her, find her.

The helicopter chops through clouds and we spot the black bear with her cub. The glacier groans and creaks beneath us like an old woman who is slowly breaking apart. Rams stand as statues on the cliffside, rivers run, and I wonder, taking it all in, about how love is as Alaska.

Love is the grandest adventure. It’s what you try to grasp onto your whole life, like a slippery salmon in bare hands. And when you have it in your hold, it’s this wonderful, terrifying, mysterious force. It’s the feeling of standing on the tippy-top of a mountain, when you suddenly become so small, in the arms of such a great, wide world. Sometimes it’s the peace of snow silently falling in the quiet forest. Or the rip of thunder across a dark sky. It’s risky. It stands on glass lakes and rides white waters. It makes no guarantee. But still, our whole existence is always struggling upstream, toward one singular purpose: to love and to be loved.

Patuk and Bill hand-picked the spot where they would marry. There is history for them here. And they stand, at the feet of these mountains and promise, with their children as witnesses, to love and to be loved. They choose the adventure. They choose the risk and the reward.

I know I have said it before. But it just never stops coming to me, like a new dawn each day:  I love my job. I love Alaska. I love the deep well of love. Nothing is more beautiful.

2017-12-04_00012017-12-04_00022017-12-04_00032017-12-04_00042017-12-04_00052017-12-04_00062017-12-04_00072017-12-04_00082017-12-04_00092017-12-04_00102017-12-04_00112017-12-04_00122017-12-04_00132017-12-04_00142017-12-04_00152017-12-04_00162017-12-04_0017Florals – Mylords Floral // Venue: Knik River Lodge