Jane Ferguson’s last and perhaps greatest gift to her husband of 25 years didn’t seem, at first, to be a gift at all. It came as a request sometime before her death in a canoe accident in 2005: She wanted her ashes spread in her five favorite wilderness areas in the West. “At first, the journeys broke my heart,” Gary Ferguson wrote in his intimate memoir The Carry Home: Lessons From the American Wilderness. “Later they helped me piece it together again.”
Drawing from his book, the celebrated nature writer discusses his journey through grief and the therapeutic effect of returning to the wilderness to fulfill his late wife’s wish. There, Ferguson renewed his appreciation for the beauty, community, and mystery of nature and its restorative power in difficult times.