Some days it’s a pleasure to sit in my office and peer out the window.
Okay, I always enjoy time in my office, but yesterday the mountain was out and it was imply a beautiful day.
I found a pansy today that I didn’t plant. I don’t know where it came from, but there it perches, under our back deck, beautiful and strong despite the snow a few days ago and the damp fall weather we’ve been having.
So when I ran this afternoon–in long pants, knee-high socks, long sleeved undershirt, and t-shirt, it struck me how determined that pansy is. And how much it’s humble little picture deserves its moment of fame.
Okay, the first snow is unbearably pretty.
For most people.
But I face the first snow with resignation mingled with a touch of despair.
A part of me cannot fathom the heavy white flakes, the realization that here, in Alaska, snow doesn’t come and stay for a day or two. Snow doesn’t fall and melt. Snow falls and stays.
Somedays I have to work harder than others to be content. This is an especially difficult time of year for me. When the leaves start to turn, I inevitably start to grow a bit depressed. Not in a clinical, I need meds sort of way, but in a sad way. I don’t want the oh-so-short Alaskan summer to end. I am never, ever, ready for it to end.
But it takes “constant vigilance” for me throughout the summer to remember that even though this summer will end before I’m ready, it will return.
There are few things in this life that we can be certain of, but we may be certain of the seasons. Winter comes, but it also leaves. Spring arrives, bringing new life and fresh, cool breath, summer follows closely on its heels around here. When fall comes, I know that there are a few oh-so-short weeks of summer left.
Even writing this post, I grow not nostalgic, but pained. I honestly feel a pain in my chest, a tightening as I realize how close is winter’s arrival. Fall is hanging on by mere threads, grasping fingers at the sky, begging the sun for just a few more clear days, a few days where the inhabitants can soak up vitamin D and pretend that winter isn’t approaching with relentless vengeance.
We can be certain of the seasons of this earth. Even if global warming continues, there will be winter, there will be spring, summer, and fall. And it’s true of life as well. “Now is the winter of our discontent.” Implied in that very statement from Mr. Shakespeare is that winter does not last forever. It will one day lift, and we will see it for what it was: a season.
It’s been beautiful and warm here in Fairbanks lately. We’ve had both fresh snow and melting snow, evidence of cloven hooves visitors (moose), and icy roads that have canceled school and closed businesses (a rare occurrence here in Fairbanks, I assure you).
So finding time to blog should have been easy right? Well, not so much.
The kid, who is quickly approaching his first birthday, decided that ear infections are all the rage, as well as never, ever sleeping through the night. It’s been great fun, both literally and sarcastically. The son enjoys playtime in the snow and all new experiences, but sleepless nights and fussy days are challenging.
Still, we’ve been having great fun in the warmer and longer days!
It’s that day again.
That day where we stop losing daylight and start to (finally) gain it again.
I don’t think most of the world looks forward to this day as much as Alaskans do. After all, today in Fairbanks, Alaska, we had a mere three hours and forty-eight minutes of daylight.
The sun rose at 10:59 a.m. and set at 2:37 p.m.
In high school, I remember arriving at school in the dark and leaving school in the dark. It seemed I’d missed an entire day.
Now, as an adult, I have a bit more freedom to seek out the sunlight.
Today, I took my first ever solstice run. It was a short, unscheduled run, only 3 miles, but it felt good. I ran it fast, racing the sunset, wanting to get home and off the roads before darkness hit. Up here there are a lot of dangers other than cars out at night.
I didn’t take any pictures of today’s run, but I did of yesterday’s long run, so I’ll post those here instead. After all, what’s a solstice run without an appreciation of the beauty a low, setting sun offers to frostbitten trees?