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The soul of a man is a master piece, full of knowledge, experience, and desire, but it is not the only thing with a soul. The soul that I speak of is more than that of the heart of man or the soul that might be mentioned from
behind a pulpit early on a Sunday morning. I am talking about what makes a man
return to painting after years of other obligations, or what makes the wind
tease the grass as it blows through the valley day after day and year after
year, or what makes the moon listen to the cry of the wolf throughout the dark
night.

Year after year I am pulled back to Yellowstone from a intangible force like that, that points a compass north. Every year as the snow fades away and the migration whistles over head I am pulled away first in my thoughts and then in
my dreams until the day comes that my soul is awakened from it’s slumber and my
wings spread and carry me away into my dream. But alas, the dream soon fades
away as gravity pulls me back to earth and I again wait for my wings to spread
and carry me away.

Three months a go I came to Yellowstone as the seasons changed and my wings spread, this was nothing new it had happened before but this time it would be different. I do not know exactly what was different but it helped make the
difference. The soul of a man may seem simple to understand, but it is something
my wife will never understand. Like the Bighorns on a cliff, there are plenty of
meadows to graze and valleys to live in so why do they choose to spend their
time atop the mountains and on the edge of cliffs. For the same reason I want
to, why limit your gaze to the grandeur in front of you and watch the birds soar
from below when you can stand upon the majesty of the mountains, fly with birds,
and see into the future. As I wandered the park on that trip I knew that
Yellowstone is where I wanted to be. It has now been almost two months from the
time that I moved my family into an apartment in the shadow of Electric Peak in
the small community of Gardiner Montana. From the time that I first got here I
have been entertained by ants, memorized by bears, and frightened by tourists
and can now see that this land has it’s own soul.

Almost ten years ago when I was first put into a trance by Yellowstone National Park I came to seek after wolves and bears. I did not know or care about the splendor that surrounded me, the thermal features looked cool but
smelt bad, Bison and Elk were a thing of the past, and if you have seen one
Lodge Pole Pine you have seen every tree in Yellowstone. I came back year after
year looking for the same thing sometimes I got lucky and sometimes I wasted my
time. As I came each time I noticed that the people that I talked to were struck
by Yellowstone the same way that I was, some had different passions or their
soul desired other things but Yellowstone is what brought them here. How could
Yellowstone have such a pull on so many people?

The Soul

I have changed and I think it is Yellowstone that has changed me, there is so much more to Yellowstone than that of wolves and bears. Over the last few weeks I have really started to recognize this, as I sat waiting to see a wolf pup
emerge from it’s den I listened as the gossip of the frogs pulled me into their
conversation and I started to realize that the wolves and bears were just part
of Yellowstone’s soul that there was so much more, and if I listened and watched
I could be filled with knowledge, experience, and a greater desire to be part of
Yellowstone and what it has to offer. From the time that I listened to the
gossip of the frogs my ears have been freed and my eyes open to the world around
me. Understanding that Yellowstone like everything else in this world whether it
is an individual, a family, a business or another national park has a soul, a
driving power or influence that molds it, has helped me and will help me go
beyond sitting in the valley looking up at the peaks.

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Comment by a. j. shults-angerstein on August 27, 2010 at 10:43am
Sequoia did it for me, changed my life completely, and each time I return which is as often as possible, the moment I see Moro Rock, I know I am there, and when I lay eyes upon the 4 Guardsmen, I feel a peace that is beyond comprehension by most. It's good to know that others have found that same peace.
Comment by Christine Davis on July 26, 2010 at 3:07am
I used to write poems. Have a book on the Canyon and also Crater Lake. It's a magical life!!
Comment by Christine Davis on July 26, 2010 at 3:06am
I understand perfectly. That's how I feel about the North Rim. It kinda pulls you toward it on the trails- you can't not look at it
Comment by Marielle on July 20, 2010 at 11:35am
beautiful
Comment by aggie71 on July 20, 2010 at 2:09am
Yeah Adam ... I felt it too, last year. I have a hunch (or, perhaps, a hope) I'll return to Yellowstone again before I pass away.

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