Fresh, foot-deep snow forces us onto a narrow trail that winds along the edge of Mendenhall Lake. It never leads us out of the shade. When I look out at the sun soaked glacier and Mt. McGinnis I feel trapped, like I am in Plato’s cave. Aki sticks to the trail too, keeping station behind an old human friend. But she can’t resist taking a few exuberant dashes out onto the sunny portions of the lake.
The glom trail provides a good metaphor for the mood that has taken possession of the other human and I. During our drive to the trailhead, he received a call from a mutual friend with news of another death. This makes the third death notice received this week. I haven’t the words to cheer my friend. I’ll be heading south in a few days to attend my cousin’s funeral. Turning to the mountain, a white pyramid against the azure blue sky, we acknowledge that death is a part of life, which brightens our moods so we can appreciate Aki ability to make us laugh.