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16th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
Primordial Dawn

Wilderness, the wild places of the world, are shrinking. We come to them now like tourists visiting an exotic zoo. We prize them for what they have to offer us – beauty, recreation, healing medicines and a retreat from the narcissistic wasteland we have made for ourselves. But the true value of these wild places is not in what they have to offer us. They are of value because they are life itself. Not something apart from us but something of which we are a part. This photograph is the result of a month-long journey paddling the remote Bloodvein River that flows down through Northeastern Manitoba into Lake Winnipeg. During the course of this journey, my wife and I, just the two of us travelling alone, felt ourselves shedding our skins of civilized certainty and entering into a deep wilderness dialogue. We slowly awoke to ancient memory – we were once wild too. We arose with the sun and moved with the unfolding cycle of the day. We entered a dialogue that was both listening and revealing, receiving and giving, as the “I” so carefully nurtured and prized, slowly dissolved. We remembered who we really were and were welcomed home.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 08.2017
Date Uploaded: 11.2018
Photo Location: Canada
Copyright: © Kerry Gordon