SGang Gwaii, the UNESCO world heritage site, is famous for being a Haida village site that features mortuary and memorial totem poles in their original locations - some of the very few not stolen away from Haida Gwaii to museums and private collections. As remarkable as the village itself was, however, I was struck by this forest walk nearby - the forest had this amazing light and ubiquitous warm green moss, the same as the forest anywhere on Haida Gwaii, but it was... more somehow. Just magical.
This. This is beauty. Nature. Calm. Peace. Order. Warmth. Nothing taking. Only giving... at least from where I stood to take this photo.
Here is the cold irony. Quite possibly, at the very moment I was creating this photo at a favorite nature preserve, my car (and thus myself) suffered vandalism and theft.
Of course, I can’t be sure when it happened... whether it was while I made this photograph or any other in the hour and a half I was there. I only know it happened at some point while I was there taking pictures.
I arrived back at the parking lot feeling excited to look at what photographs I’d made, only to feel utter disappointment upon seeing my car window bashed in / shattered. I later realized my wallet had been stolen.
So... nature. I’m a nature lover. And then there’s human nature. Honestly, I feel at a loss about how to process this. There’s gratitude that the situation wasn’t worse... that my physical person wasn’t hurt. But I’m having a difficult time with everything else. With having my eyes opened further to the reality that there are such random or targeted acts by humans toward humans. And I struggle to love humanity (after something like this) the way I love nature. I struggle to choose love when others choose not to love.
Still, I know I have to. No matter what others do. And with love comes forgiveness. I’ve been forgiven for so much. So I know without any doubt that I need to forgive this offense.
Please don’t take this as a solicitation for your condolences. I’m simply trying to put out there what is far from my nature at the moment... so as to practice what I say here. So as to practice kindness and love in response to an act devoid of it. So as not to dwell in anger and not to lose hope in people.
I still choose to believe that beauty is everywhere... even somewhere in this.