Home. We all know the meaning. But what does it really mean? To me, growing up in a nomadic Navy family with 21 different houses, home was where my mother made it. But when I left for college, I sought a new home, one of my own. But it eluded me until I had my own family. Ah, this is it. So, I thought.
Sydney Nelson Patton (1882-1976) was born into the world of another era. During his life he arguably witnessed the greatest change of any generation: when he was young he rode horses, trains and read by candles but during his life he saw the advent of electricity, radio, cars, airplanes, TV and he watched men walk on the moon. During his lifetime the world grew from 1.2 billion (1880) to 4 billion people (1975), he saw the US engage in five major wars, and he lived under 17 US presidents.
The year was 1987 and I was searching for a place where black abalone were largely undisturbed so I could complete my dissertation. The island was the perfect location: isolated, difficult to access, federally protected, and surrounded by seal- and shark- infested waters. During my first low tide on the island I was ecstatic: blacks were common and it was the perfect place to conduct a study but there were elephant seals everywhere.
Hiking into the Washington Cascades. 2006. “To perceive the true nature of existence was one reason for the performing a vision quest; after four days of fasting alone in a high rock, in the great silence and solitude of earth, one is bound to discover that what was thought of as a separate self is…