Christmas Rose

ice bladeAki and I are working our way over ice toward the glacier. My daughter, who now lives on the East Coast walks with us. In a Juneau convergence moment, she spots two people from her college days in Los Angeles. Neither of them lives in Juneau.   Beneath their feet Aki has a noisy argument with two Chihuahuas that they brought with them from LA. Across the frozen lake, an apricot and gray sky backdrops Mt. McGinnis. When the fight ends I walk over to a frosted rose at the tip of a humble willow branch. It too represents a convergence but one made by nature, not man. Last summer an insect infested the willow, causing a mutation shaped like a delicately petaled rose bud. On this mid-winter day, we won’t find another rose bud outside of a florist’s cold safe. It is our Christmas rose so I am pleased to find a field of tiny frost crowns formed on the bud. Does anyone know the words to “Lo how a rose e’er blooming?”willow rose

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