Indifferent Waters

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From inside the Troll Woods the river sounds angry. It sounds hungry for land. I wonder briefly whether it is also hungry for Aki and me. Then I realize that rivers swollen to near flood stage must be indifferent to the bodies that fall into their grasp. They just carry them away like fallen trees or glacial silt.

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Days ago an ice dam in Suicide Basin crumbled, releasing a reservoir of melt water. The water streamed down the glacier and poured into Mendenhall Lake. As the lake waters rose, they destroyed the nests of arctic terns and closed off popular trails. The floodwaters swelled the river, helping it escape its traditional channel and make a new one down the middle of the trail we used to access the woods.

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The river doesn’t have to so all this to remind me that the glacier is melting. I have been witnessing its retreat for the last twenty years.

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