When the curtain lifts
we’ll all be able to see
exactly what we’ve lost
One of my favorite places in Alaska is the Begich Boggs Visitor Center in the Chugach National Forest (near Portage). The Center is situated on the remains of the moraine left by Portage Glacier in 1914. Steps lead down to grey rock and icy blue waters filled with enormous icebergs. Inside, after making your way through an interactive exhibit you’re brought to a beautiful theatre where a breathtaking documentary about the Portage Valley, Portage glacier, and climate change airs. After several dramatic minutes of calving glacier footage and archival shots of what the glacier used to look like, a curtain is raised behind the theatre’s screen and the water and icebergs are revealed. The glacier is so far receded that it is no longer visible from the viewing windows.
We know what we’re losing, and what we’ve lost. Sometimes I feel a bit powerless, like water is running through my cupped hands, but being able to visit places like this during our residence in Southeastern Alaska soothes my very human guilt just a bit. I’m avowedly bowing my head and accepting my own part of the blame. It’s real. We’re sorry, what can we do?
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