I am one of you no longer;
by the trails my feet have broken,
the dizzy peaks I’ve scaled, the camp-fire’s glow;
by the lonely seas I’ve sailed in —
yea, the final word is spoken,
I am signed and sealed to nature. Be it so.”
~Robert Service~ Closing verse of The Rhyme of the Remittance Man
I really love Delian. Among all the various places I have lived, I favor the memories of Delian, second only to those of my childhood in Georgia. Delian is not a place for everyone, which for starters is one of the main reasons I like it. It’s a place in the world where the merging of some amenities of civilization and the truly wild region has a sort of balance that I find exciting. That balance is different for everyone, and there are many such places in the world. However, I think that within Alaska they are more available and frequently found. The problem is having the time to search them out. As luck and fate would have it, I had the opportunity to live in Delian for six years.
Delian is a mostly Tlingit village community located on the north west shore of Cheech Island, (Tlingit for Porpoise Island) which is near three of the largest islands in the United States, Admiralty, Baranof and Chichagof islands, all within the Alexander Archipelago. The name “Delian” is derived from the native Alaskan’s Tlingit language, meaning “a village near a beach or harbor sheltered from the North Wind” This is a very understandable and descriptive concept, since the community is located very near The Strait of Ice Bergs to the north, at the head of which is an enormous glacier, calving ice bergs. Nearby communities are Seabird, Elf Fin, and Tentative.