The Meadow Only Knows Dusk

heather

It’s 10 A.M. on a cold, windless morning. The sun cleared Douglas Island’s mountainous spine a half and hour ago and is moving like a spotlight down the channel toward Juneau. We have a good view of Mt. Juneau but the sun concentrates on Sheep Mountain. Later, Mt. Juneau will sparkle when nothing blocks our view of Sheep Mountain. We walk over a meadow in dusk, tucked against the island’s spine. I walk slowly, waiting for the sun light to make the frost feathers sparkle. Aki is bored and doesn’t appreciate my lingering. Does she know the sun won’t reach this meadow until the New Year? I poke about, run through my Tai Chi exercises then find a tiny pond bordered by a band of pale, magenta plants. I think, “heather” and look for flowers; find frost feathers serving the same purpose. Aki can’t tell me why the plants circled this pond. She is moving down the two opaque ribbons of ice that mark a cross-country ski trail off the meadow.

Aki

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