I’m on a road trip through northern British Columbia, Yukon, and Alaska. It is truly amazing and beautiful country, largely unspoilt by human activity. Picture a place that’s larger than California, larger than Belgium, Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands combined, yet has a population of only around 36,000 and you have the Yukon, where I am now as I write this. You drive for hours along the highway with no sign of humanity, not even small buildings at the roadside, other than the road you’re on. You don’t drive past a gas station if your tank is 1/4 or lower.
Another thing about the Yukon that I like, is that to my knowledge there has never been a Christian Science church here. Not even a society. That’s not to say that there aren’t Christian Scientists here, but it’s likely that they are extremely few in number. I do know one or two Christian Scientists who were originally from the Yukon, but no longer live here, so it’s likely there are at least a few–and there has been at least one family of Christian Scientists here at one time. There are a number of mainstream Christians around here–I hear gospel music on the few radio stations I’ve encountered thus far, and even the smallest village has a church. So there is religion here, for better or worse.
As I was rolling along the Alaska Highway this morning, a thought, or more a memory came to me. I remember when I was living in Boston, and my parents were considering moving closer to where I lived. One of the closer parts of Canada to the Boston area is Nova Scotia. Friends of theirs had moved there a number of years ago and they considered moving to the area where these friends lived. However, Dad felt strongly that he couldn’t live there because there are no Christian Science churches in the part Nova Scotia they were considering. In fact, there is only one Christian Science church in Nova Scotia, in Halifax–the largest city, and I suspect that church is barely hanging on to it’s pathetically minimal existence.
I thought to myself this morning, that my Dad’s thought was so limiting. That thought would limit me from so many amazing places I could live, such as right where I am now. Christian Scientists are great about railing against “limiting thought”, yet some will limit themselves from living somewhere if they can’t be involved in church. I can’t imagine something being so central or even controlling in my life. Even as a Christian Scientist, church was never that central to my life and existence. For me, branch church membership had always been a very mixed bag, so I wasn’t overly attached to the idea, and I think I largely did it because it seemed to be the “right thing” to do.
In a larger sense, I have felt so mentally free since leaving Christian Science. I just live and enjoy life now as it really is, as it presents itself day in and day out. No longer do I contract my mind with the mental gymnastics that Christian Science imposes as you try to deny the material reality all around you. I like this! Life that is as free and open as the countryside I’m enjoying on this trip!