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Snow Capped Mountain

Alaska

My husband and I are on vacation this week. Have a wonderful day!

 

Snow capped mountain in the distance

cool, crisp , and clean

the ecosystem surrounding it

is so serene

 

A train filled with visitors

admires the beauty around

animals and wildlife

fill the snow covered forest surround

 

Winter scene designed by God

Beautiful snow covered trees in the valley

Everything is asleep

Awaiting spring to tally

 

The time is coming for the snow to melt

The wildlife will be waking

The rivers will be clean

It is serenity in the making

 

Observing God’s creation

With beauty and wonder

Appreciating all life

Something we need to ponder

 

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

 

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Warmth in a Cold World

snow capped mountain alaska

Our world is so cold

winter so long

hibernating beauty

waiting for spring’s song

 

The valleys are warm

comforting us from afar

in the midst of life’s storms

like a star

 

The ice is melting

the sky is now blue

God awakens us

we are made anew

 

The mountains and valleys

are much like our life

highs and lows

sometimes with strife

 

The valleys are warm

much like our hearts

loving one another

from the start

 

Nature reflects who we are

with the seasons of the year

taking on life’s issues

in harmony without fear

 

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

 

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Nature’s Beauty

 

 

 

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

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Renewal and Peace

snow capped mountain alaska

In the distance a snow capped mountain

Surrounded by a lake of blue

Renewal is coming

The spring is new

The wildlife awoke

From a long winter’s sleep

Peace in the valley

Beginning so unique

God’s promise to us

If we will hear

Working together

Renewal and peace are near

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

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Alaska: A Tour of the Yukon

Alaska

Alaska is a wonderful place to explore and visit. The cruise ship had pulled into port and we prepared for our tour of the Yukon in Canada. The air was crisp and cold as we left the ship and got on the bus. The sun was bright as it beamed down on the snow surrounding us.

Our tour guide was a friendly fellow who lived in this small town. The small town had the appearance of an old west type of architecture. There were several buildings that were painted white with red trim that radiated in the sun as we passed by.

We passed through town and listened to the stories of how the people lived and survived the cold climate. Our guide was older and preferred to live in town during the tourist season and fly down to warmer climates during the harsh winter. He was proud of this town and his face shined with the telling of each story.

We passed over the Canadian border and there were beautiful snow-covered mountains and valleys to greet us as we made our way to the Yukon. The land was untouched by humans and the beauty of the land began to beckon me.

Our first stop was at a small park where people frequently camped and fished. It was an extremely primitive campground surrounded by trees with deep green leaves and a lake that had small animals surrounding it. The ecosystem was alive and drawing me into the stories of this land. The life cycle of nature was in harmony and it was beautiful

Along the way to the Yukon there are many animals in the mountains that are close enough to get a picture. Often the tour guide would suddenly stop and we would move forward in our seats with a jolt. There would be no napping on this tour. There were bears and wild goats that would pose for pictures in the distance.

The Yukon became famous in the 1800s for the promise of gold. People came from many places seeking their fortunes. The Canadian government would not allow people to enter the Yukon without a year’s supply of food and other life essentials. The ecosystem is harsh and the people allowed to enter were prepared. I loved this life lesson in planning and perseverance.

In the Yukon there is the world’s smallest desert. It is a beautiful piece of land that appears to blend in well with the ecosystem. The day of our tour it was covered in snow patches.

Alaska 2

It was time for lunch and we stopped at a small restaurant that was included in our tour. The food was wonderful and consisted of barbecue ribs, cooked potatoes, peas, and bread. Home cooking is wonderful in all parts of the world.

After lunch we walked across the street to view a beautiful mountain with a lake in the front. The lake had an interesting variety of colors that changed with the seasons. In the spring this lake is dark blue in the deeper parts changing to light green in the shallow parts of the lake. The mountains surrounding the lake have dark green trees below the higher mountain rocks. Truly God is an awesome artist to have created such beauty.

After taking photographs we left this wonderful place and proceeded to our next stop. It was a ghost town that featured a small gift shop and post office. The town was well-preserved with old abandoned buildings and railroad tracks. There was an old train car on the tracks outside the post office.

It was a wonderful experience for the soul to imagine how life had been in the times when this town thrived. The people lived off the land and brought their gold to be measured and converted to currency. An interesting time in the history of the Yukon.

We returned to the tour bus and began our trip back to the cruise ship. There were more stops along the way to take pictures and observe the wildlife. I enjoyed the peacefulness and harmony of the land. The wildlife has adapted to the seasons and thrive in the ecosystem.

Returning to the United States clouds and rain have descended on the landscape. A deep fog has developed and the roads are hazardous. Our guide is familiar with the road and we arrive back at our ship without any issues.

It has been a wonderful day to experience the beauty of the world God created. Alaska is a wonderful place to visit and full of adventure. My soul is nourished and at peace.

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

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Totem Poles: An Adventure in Culture and Remberance

AlaskaI got off the cruise ship and admired the landscape surrounding the dock. This was one of the last stops on this Alaskan adventure. Everything is so beautiful here and different from Mississippi.

The small town was directly off the dock and had a unique architecture to the buildings. They were two stories and made of wood with brightly colored exteriors. Each shop had its own unique goods to sell. The buildings fit in perfectly with the mountains in the backdrop.

I adjusted my coat and hat as we entered the small boat for the tour. It is cold in Alaska this May morning with a bit of a biting wind. The boat is going to take us on a tour of an old fish factory, a rain forest, and a totem pole village. This was going to be an exciting day.

The fishing factory had provided employment and food to the people of this Alaskan island for many years. I was impressed how the people of this cold land took advantage of the natural resources surrounding them. The factory had been closed for many years and now it was a museum. The history and resilience of the people in Alaska is fascinating.

The last stop on this tour is a totem pole village. It is a wonderful site to behold. In a circle are very large totem poles. They are extremely colorful and are beautiful in their tall structure.

The native Alaskans believe that everything comes from Mother Earth. They do not tear any structure down but allow Mother Earth to retake it. There are many old abandoned buildings falling down on this island. They will continue to deteriorate until Mother Earth completely recycles them back into the soil.

This deterioration is a wonderful example of the symbiotic relationship the people have with the land. Each thing taken from the land is returned and nourishes the environment. The same principle is true of the totem poles.

The native Alaskans used the totem poles as an impression of their culture. The totem poles are constructed out of wood and have elaborate carvings in the wood. The colorful carvings represent different parts of the belief system of the people.

There are times when a deceased person’s remains are inserted into the totem pole. The pole serves as a representation of that person’s life. Each event in that person’s life is represented by a carving. It is an interesting testament to life.

While viewing some of the totem poles I pondered at how our lives would be depicted if this was a common practice. Would our lives be depicted as a positive influence filled with love and joy or would the totem poles reflect our negatives influences such as hatred and bitterness? It is an interesting question for each of us to answer.

Each totem pole has a series of carvings on them that represent parts of the culture. The Alaskan totem poles have carvings of animals in them. Many believe that these animals will guide their deceased loved ones to the spiritual world.

Other totem poles have carvings that represent a certain part of a family’s heritage. Each impression is used to express what is important to be passed on to future generations. This is a wonderful legacy.

The totem poles remain until Mother Earth reclaims them. The totem pole deteriorates and returns to the soil where it provides nourishment. This is a continuance of the cycle of life.

Before leaving the totem pole village we visit the gift shop. I find a small totem pole that has been carved by the native Alaskan people. It is small and has beautiful vibrant colors. There is a small card attached that indicates the artist. I wonder what the artist had wanted to express about his life in this small carving.

We return to the tour bus and proceed back to town. We are instructed to look out the windows of  the bus while passing over a bridge. There is a bear gathering and eating salmon from the creek. This is a common occurrence as people and animals live in harmony in this community.

While standing in the cold biting wind waiting to get back on the cruise ship I look at my small totem pole and reflect on the impression the tour has made on me. From this time forward I will try to fill my life with positive influences. Perhaps if a totem pole was erected as my grave marker it would reflect a life of service to others.

Finally we enter the cruise ship and it is warm again. I am blessed to have been on this tour and my soul is nourished. The totem poles have made a wonderful impression on me.

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

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