The Solstice in Purgatory


It’s day of chill and frustration on the Douglas Island side of Gastineau Channel. By 9 a.m. the sun already flood Chicken Ridge with light. It made the snow on Mt. Juneau look light rich cake frosting. It sent low angle light bouncing off the channel but could not banish the gloam that will hang over Douglas town until replaced by night-darkness at 3 p.m. Almost cold on this gray mountain meadow, I have the purgatory experience offered by Douglas in Solstice of witnessing bright beauty from a dark place, knowing the sun will never warm me or drive the frost feathers from the meadow’s stunted pines. If there is a digital camera capable of capturing what I see, I don’t one it. You have to take my word that the sky is cerulean blue above the painfully white wall of mountains on the channel’s Juneau side.




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