Saturday, May 3, 2014

Breakup in Alaska

I’m sure there is a name for this season in other parts of the country. I have a friend from the North East, Vermont, she called it Mud Season. Quite accurate, as the frost leaves, the earth heaves convulsively reaching toward the surface and caught in the middle, all those once frozen water particles, leaving bogs and yards and paths and roads awash in goop.

My only experience with breakup has been in Alaska. There’s a dimension to breakup here that I haven’t heard discussed anywhere else.  Time. Certainly not the lack of time, but the over-abundance of it. Okay, not time exactly, but daylight.

A month ago, collectively, Alaskans began conversations with friends, and total strangers in line at the post office with, “Wow, isn’t it great? The light is coming back sooo fast!” It was still colder than %^$# heck, but, the light makes for a beautiful day. A day to plan and the light to execute.

Now, the urgency of spring is jam-packed with additional things to do. Unfortunately, we can do them, ALL, until 10:30 pm as each week the light surges closer and closer to Solstice.

Ahh, that’s the easy part-the hard part is getting enough sleep. May 1st and there is so much that needs to be accomplished. The same things that were there in January or March, and now there are the added things. Gardens must be planned, yards must be raked and a project that can’t be done when one is ass deep in snow.

Cleaned? You collapse into a chair at 9 pm and lancing through the window a shaft of brilliant daylight, the curse of dust bunnies waving madly back at you, even the inside of the house is a disaster.

We love breakup for the light and tolerate the mud, because on a quiet evening the geese fly overhead like confetti tossed from a cannon. We know we must stop, listen, lift our faces and savor just for that moment, because winter is coming. 

DeNise Woodbury is the author of Cottongrass Lodge and Avery's Gift.


Lynn Lovegreen said...

Yes, I can relate to this, Tam. The best part is seeing that daylight so late in the day, woohoo! :-)

Lynn Lovegreen said...

Oops, thought it said Tam--good post, DeNise! :-P

Angelina Barbin said...

Great post. As a newbie I'm still getting used to all the light outside. My body isn't sure when to sleep.