The third book in a trilogy.
A young couple seeking to live in an unspoiled locale to test the struggles of living and adapting to their surroundings. The various learning experiences and the unanticipated dangers help their survival and how this survival and love of the unspoiled world develops the characters of their children as they return to the everyday living .
Was it only 12 years ago that Sarah and Jake had decided to forsake the easy route and try to live by using their own learned skills and wisdom rather than give in to what they felt was a system that spawned reliance on others and institutions as a way of life?
But, it had been 12 years and now Sarah and Jake had three children, Raquel 12 ½ years old, Aaron 9 years old and Cindy, 10 months old. The first two children were given the Biblical names that Sarah and Jake admired but Cindy was named after Sarah’s mother, the mother who had abandoned both husband and daughter right after Sarah was born. Sarah had been left motherless at an early age and even though there was some resentment on Sarah’s part, she still felt that her mother’s convictions could be understood.
In one sense it was an abandonment but in another it was the desperation and need to know one’s limits and capabilities. For Sarah’s mother, her desire in life was to become an actress – a dream of being a Hollywood star with all the adoration that came with the being in public view. But, as destiny would have it, Cindy became pregnant with Sarah and her chance to test herself came to the critical point of either being a mother and wife or abandoning home, husband and child to pursue her dream. She chose to leave all and seek the dream. In that way, Sarah was less inclined to berate or criticize her mother for she too was anxious to test her own independence.
Jake and Sarah decided that they wanted to fight the system which seemed to be leading the entire world in a life that was merely meretricious and, according to their feelings, left no room to develop their natural inclinations: for a life that required skills and awareness in order to survive. What the two wanted was to test themselves and not fall prey to a societal system that seemed to engender weakness, vulnerability and a slide backward to what it appeared was the antithesis of what Nature was about. In all forms of life, be it animal, plant, insect, or fish, the emphasis of Nature was to select the hardiest, the strongest, the most intelligent to carry forth the new generations.
However, it was Man’s intelligence that won out leaving the vast majority of the weak and the sickly to survive. Instead of culling out the least efficient, it paved the way under the banner of compassion and social justice to breed the least desired traits as well as those that were needed for survival and improvement. For Nature, there is no compassion or pity, for those who cannot survive the rigors of life, there is only one answer and that is the culling out of all those who cannot improve the species.
(I do not believe that any single species does not follow this natural law with the possible exception of those in which Man’s interference for( his own reasons) does not apply. In writing this observation, I am not postulating for what is now considered the progress of Man to the dustbin but simply observing what Mankind has created; a system seemingly opposed to a natural one.)
It was under this umbrella that Sarah and Jake decided to discover their own mettle and in one way, prove that they could survive. That they selected in an “unfriendly” climate and environment was part of the test they set for themselves. To start with, there were fewer people to contend with and in that way much less interference. The land that they chose was in Healy, Alaska, close to The Denali National Park whose more than 6,000,000 acres would give them more protection and isolation from the masses of people from whom they wanted to escape .Also, they would be near enough to the large numbers of wildlife such as black, brown and Grizzly bears, the Dall sheep, Caribou, Moose, Wolves and Fox plus the many small animals and birds which served as prey for the above.
Of trees, spruce, pine and birch were abundant and the primary growth trees were huge. But with the deep forests there also came the dangers of fire which occurred by Nature’s intervention in various areas and which replaced the large trees so that there was always a re-‐growth of trees and plant life.
Winters were cold and long and the Tundra extended over much of the land into Spring. The need to stock food, cut wood, set traps and the gathering of basic foods and materials was obvious . Survival, for that is what it was, would take most of their waking hours and like any animal would require most of their efforts. The short spring/summer growing season brought enormous vegetables that grew in the prolonged light of the summer season and so it was imperative that one knew how to preserve and conserve these foods.