Black ice bergs flow with the tide in Cook Inlet while Sleeping Lady still rests beneath a thick blanket of snow. Forty degrees by day, twenty-seven by night. Wind, rain, mud, thawing dog poop, filthy cars, watery potholes of undetermined depth. Three inches of bright new snow. Start over. A massive avalanche breaks loose near the south fork of Eagle River and covers a residential road with sixty to eighty feet of snow, reaching the doorsteps of several homes. Miraculously, no one is hurt. Eleven days later a fleet of snowplows and dump trucks clear the road again. People drive back to their homes.

In town, beneath the melting snow, a winter’s worth of debris is revealed: trees, branches, trash, trash cans, campaign signs. Winter trails return to their swampy origins. Footwear choices: cleats, tennis shoes, rubber boots, or all three? Meanwhile, war, destruction, hatred, bombard us on the news. Yet, the first gull soars above McDonalds, snow buntings head for their nesting grounds in the Arctic, and a pair of common Goldeneyes dive for fish in the open lead at Westchester Lagoon. Life returns, and with it, hope. The land will dry, birch buds will burst into leaves, bright green needles will pop from the tips of the spruce trees. Moose will bear calves. Mama bears will kill baby moose to feed their hungry cubs. Humans will return to their summer wariness. We bask in five more minutes of daylight every day and give thanks we’ve survived a pandemic and one more winter.

Blog: Spring