The nature writing of Gary Ferguson arises out of intimate experience. He trekked 500 miles through Yellowstone to write Walking Down the Wild and spent a season in the field at a wilderness therapy program for Shouting at the Sky. He journeyed 250 miles on foot for Hawks Rest and followed through the seasons the first 14 wolves released into Yellowstone National Park for The Yellowstone Wolves. But nothing could prepare him for the experience he details in his new book.
The Carry Home is both a moving celebration of the outdoor life shared between Ferguson and his wife, Jane, who died tragically in a canoeing accident in Northern Ontario in 2005, and a chronicle of the mending, uplifting power of nature. Confronting his unthinkable loss, Ferguson set out to fulfill Jane's final wish: the scattering of her ashes in five remote, wild locations they loved and shared. The act of the carry home allows Ferguson the opportunity to ruminate on their life together as well as explore deeply the impactful presence of nature in all of our lives. Theirs was a love borne of wild places, and The Carry Home offers a powerful glimpse into how the natural world can be a critical prompt for moving through cycles of immeasurable grief, how bereavement can turn to wonder, and how one man rediscovered himself in the process of saying good-bye.
Trekking his late wife's ashes to five remote corners of wilderness, Gary Ferguson finds hope and healing in the open country. This tale of grief and recovery, read with sincerity by the author, paints vivid landscapes tightly woven with his emotions. Ferguson's pain is tangible, but so is the hope he feels in the quiet details of plant and animal life living around him.
Nobody describes outdoor life quite like Ferguson. His brilliant physical descriptions intertwine ecology, and past explorers with present policy and reflections. He takes notice of details and draws emotional connections.
Ferguson ends with a feeling of renewal, his wife at rest, a renewed ecological movement taking root even in urban areas, and new love bring him out of the shadow of grief, and into new land.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
This was a great and inspiring story. The narrative was a little fragmented and hard to follow, though. It demanded attention to keep up with which story Ferguson was sharing at the moment, because he jumped between them quickly and with little warning: distant past, accident, anecdote, present.