It has been said that Nature is the wisest of all instructors, and the best students those who have learned to quiet their hearts in its presence. For many, it reflects the self, inhibited, raw. It is to all at some point a comfort, a relief from the stressors of life indoors; at others, its wildness disturbs even the most immovable characters. It may reveal courage, a glimpse of destiny, or even unearth a part of the soul in need of mending. It is in Nature that many see their heart as it truly is.
Jake Carnley, founded of Great Bear Wax Candle Company, is one of Nature’s finest pupils. His encounters with the natural world have shaped his entire life, and in a moment of outdoor Providence, inspired a vision of his existence thereafter. More importantly, the natural world has for him marked the interconnectivity of faith, art, and community.
This story begins as all grand adventure narratives do: in a shanty of plywood that could only charitably be referred to as a cabin. Jake was in college at the time, and had traveled to California to intern at a ranch, engulfed in wilderness. His new home took on the appearance of a humble 12×12 living quarters. Jake affectionately alluded to it’s other qualities, like the smell and creature comforts you might expect present in the half man, half wild animal experience of a summer among the trees. It was raw and simple, untidied by civilization’s touch, unmitigated by technology’s distractions. In any case, it provided the perfect environment for perhaps the most frightening, yet rewarding activity: thinking.