The word passage evokes images of hallways, secret tunnels, openings between here and there; a sense of moving through, going between, crossing over. Passages allow movement. In the landscape they provide routes to get from one open area to another. Mariners look for passages such as Knight Island Passage in Prince William Sound or Saratoga Passage in Puget Sound—protected waterways between two larger bodies of water. Spelunkers crawl or inch their way through underground passages that link open rooms of a cave. Passage is related to the word pass, a way through the mountains. Perhaps no geographical passage has been more evocative or historically significant than the imagined Northwest Passage, a coveted route between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through the far northern ice-bound waters above North America.

Carolyn Servid