Aki likes this kind of day with a sun delivering enough warmth for spring. We walk along a riverside trail, passing a sun flooded meadow. Its stream curves sensuously towards us with banks made feminine by a rounded blanket of snow.
Springs in the rocks lining part of the trail have weeped water all winter that froze into translucent walls of ice. At two places seeping water makes the trail impassable with slick ice. We leave the trail for the river bank below with its snow load now covered with a thin crust of brackish ice left by last night’s equinox high tide. It feels like spongy vinyl under foot until we break through to the heavy wet snow below.
With now wet feet I stand in the sun and watch a wall of mountains rise into blue across the river. They hide the Herbert Glacier now but we will see it when we reach the beach.
We hear new bird songs and the indistinct sound of distance surf when emerging from the forest to a dormant wildflower meadow. Here is the river delta revealed at low tide, a disturbed Lynn Canal and the Chilkoot mountains beyond. (brown, green/blue, white, then azure). Here, also, is a strong gusting wind that makes Aki stop and start like a counter punched fighter. Once again we lean into the wind and find a wide sand beach littered with clear ice sculptures. One sports a round hole in its middle that frames the promised glacier when used from one side and the Benjamin Island Lighthouse in a whipped sea from the other.
I feel sorry for exposing Aki to the wind until she gives me the, “where is my flying toy” look. She longs to dash down the packed sand chasing her frisbee. The toy is back home so I toss a stick which she retrieves like a labrador until exhausted.
This beach and the other wild places we visit formed Aki. She remembers summer trips here chasing her frisbee. She will be the first to find the trail through the sand berm that leads home. I long to be formed by this place too.