Solstice

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Happy Solstice little dog. Tomorrow we start the climb toward midsummer. Aki pauses in her investigation of a yellow spot on the snow and looks up at her human. Her kind never fears the dark. Our low-light winter days do not depress her. She just takes what nature offers. Does she ever worry, like I do, that one winter the earth may not tilt south after solstice?

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It’s high noon. Sunlight bathes Mt. Juneau and the other south facing peaks that line Gastineau Channel. But sunshine will never touch the mountain meadow that Aki and I cross. Even the mountains’ time in the sun will be brief.

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Without pesky sunshine, frost builds thick forests of feathers on the meadow grass. Cold firms up the boggy muskeg, opening up areas closed during thaws. Aki flies across the meadow, changing direction without concern about watercourses, ponds, or bogs. For a brief moment I am tempted to lead the poodle mix to the Southern end of the meadow where our combined weight might stop the earth’s tumble north. But only for a moment.

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