Light is precious this close to the winter solstice. Even during last week’s stretch of clear weather, dusk settled over Juneau before 3 P.M. Now the clouds are back as is the rain. Aki and I move with caution down a Treadwell trail covered with sloppy snow and ice. When the marine layer shatters over Gastineau Channel to let in light, I understand why my Celtic ancestors honored the winter sun.
The forest that hides the old mining ruins still retains snow from the last storm. It brightens the reflection of the twisted alders growing along a shallow pond. One triangle of pond ice juts into the air but the rain is already eroding its sharp corners. Tiny waves, the concentric rings radiating out from each rain strike, crash against the ice—wing strikes on softening marble.