Last Day in Ketchikan

Well, early tomorrow morning I head out for Prince Rupert, along with my dad, brother and sister. My brother is starting college in Tacoma, Washington, and I'm saving money by coming along for the roadtrip and then flying out of Sea-Tac for Washington, D.C. I will, of course, be coming back to Ketchikan sometime, but never again in the same way.

my girlfriend and I in
front of the "Honoring
Those Who Give" pole
What I mean is that, for the past three summers, Ketchikan has been my summer vacation home, fit in between my academic years at Georgetown and my semester in Strasbourg. At the end of this year I will have graduated, and that will no longer be the case. Although I'll probably come back to Ketchikan next May, and maybe stay for June, I don't expect I'll spend the majority of the summer here. That is to say, Ketchikan will cease to be the home I always come back to: I'll probably be starting a new life somewhere else.

below the treeline on
Deer Mountain
Ketchikan really is a wonderful place, and it will always be my home. I may come back to live here in the future, but it won't be a part of that continuous inhabitation, that unbroken relationship, that started when I was three years old. I believe a strong feeling of place is a very important part of who we are, something that many Americans may unfortunately lack in our age of high mobility. I feel Ketchikan makes up a very large part of who I am: Had I grown up elsewhere, I'd be a different person. We are all as human beings intimately connected to our environments, nourished by them, raised by them, created in the context of a place.

No matter where I go, I believe I'll always belong in Kichxáan, Taant'a Kwáan ka Sanyaa Kwáan, Lingít Aaní, Anáaski.

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