the last gasp of fall occurred today at 4:42 pm the leaves whirled around me in a cyclone and i felt the long breath of winter begin to inhale up the sides of the hill. the clouds wait heavy on the horizon and they press down on my shoulders one birch stands alone branches vibrant, burning yellow surrounded by other bare branches so brave
Allow me to introduce you to my dog, Yukon. He is a dog racing flunky, he loves sugar snap peas, carrots, his stuffed hedgehog and me of course, except when I am brushing him which is what I was doing in this photo. We've had Yukon for almost seven years now, I made Dave drive out in a snow storm the day before Thanksgiving to pick him up from a musher who was concerned he wasn't getting enough attention in her dog yard. When he was a puppy a family at the military base here in town bought him, but gave him up before he was one year old, apparently he was too much for them to handle. The very kind musher I got him from, adopted him and put him in her team. He loves to run, but he has longer legs than most of the dogs mushers run now, he also easily overheats. (It is at this point I would like to say that I am not responsible for his name, I would've renamed him, but he was three when we got him. Having a dog named Yukon in Alaska is so cheesy, I often exclaim to folks when I introduce him that I did not name him.) The first night he came home with us, he cried all night missing the other dogs. I slept next him on the couch. The second night, I told him it was time for bed and he hopped up on the couch...the first sign of his true happiness at being a house dog. He pulls me on my skis, walks and hikes many miles with us, is terrified of the cat, and loves to be kissed and snuggled. He is truly a fantastic dog.
Wow, where did the week go? I meant to visit here, to write about all the swirling going on in my head, but somehow I never made it. Today has felt rather melancholy. The brillant leaves are falling off the trees in the wind, and as much as I am enchanted by their multicolored carpet under my feet, I know that it means winter is on its way. As I am mentally preparing myself for the dark and cold, I am at the same time a whirlwind of activity. There are berries I am making into jam, the vegetables I am blanching and freezing all in an attempt to capture summer in jars and plastic bags. I love fall, but in a sharp, bittersweet way, the way you love the end of a truly fantastic book or that last bite of dessert. I want to sleep out under the stars every night, swim in the lake one more time, take a nap in the hammock, but life and the season are moving on whether I want them to or not. However, I will continue to grasp at these small experiences until the first snow falls, and then it will be time to begin again....in a new season.
I don't have any images from my weekend, so you will need to imagine this all in your own mind. Ready, okay....
You are walking through spruces, aspens and birches in the shifting evening light, the leaves crunch under your feet and fill the air with their scent. The voices of women are on all sides of you, giggling, talking quietly to each other as you move upward toward the open sky. At the top of a steep slope tundra opens up and all around there is sky, color and mountains. The hillsides are covered with yellow now made more brillant by the sun setting. The sun slides down turning the sky pink, eleven women sitting quietly on the tundra watching its path. As the moon rises one of the women picks up a guitar and the silent Alaska air is filled with her beautiful voice and songs. While she sings fox call back and forth to each other below the women's perch, a bottle of sparkling cider, and a bar of dark chocolate are passed around. In the dark the women pick their way down the slope, following each others footsteps down the trail.
Yes, that was my weekend and it was fantastic. I feel renewed from a connection with other women, content with sleeping by myself in my beloved tent in pure silence and picking plump, ripe cranberries before returning home.
Hi there, remember me? I will eventually be back in full force, but I am desperately enjoying the last moments of summer. In other news, they promoted me at work to full time, a great opportunity and I am totally enjoying the people I'm working with. I had the realization this morning riding my bike in to work....I'm happy, for the first time in a long time, I am just happy. My life feels rather uncomplicated at the moment. I missed getting an entry up for poetry thursday, but I have been working on a series of fibonacci haikus for my writing group next week, so here is one from my series and holding with the poetry thursday theme this week.
all summer long for
the perfect blue orb of sweetness
Here are some photos from my weekend. We went hiking in the mountains,
hoping to find a caribou to fill our freezer for the winter. No caribou
were spotted, but the berry picking and tundra naps were fantastic.
and then there is this photo that Dave took last night, luck for us it was cold and I have a small bladder because the aurora only came out very late.....