Wind Erasure

Ruah, it means wind or the breath of God in Hebrew. Aki isn’t thinking about Ruah. She is burying her head in snow. We just left a packed trail across Gastineau Meadow. I ventured away from it to get an unfiltered view of Mt. Juneau. For me this required punching through ten centimeters of wind-drift snow. The little dog just cruised across the top of it. The fine snow delivered by the wind didn’t inconvenience her. 

            Yesterday strong winds blew snow off the surrounding mountain tops and dropped it on the meadow. It erased all but the deepest tracks. This morning we could tell ourselves that we are alone in a wilderness. A tiny meadow vole soon puts paid to my delusion of grandeur. Perhaps startled by my boot crunches, the vole bounded across open meadow to the protection of a bull pine snag. Its tracks provided proof that Aki and I are not alone. In a few minutes we will cross fresh tracks left by a loping snowshoe hare. 

            The wind rises as we turn back to firmer trail. Long tendrils of wind-driven snow extend from the saddles and ridges of Mt. Jumbo and the other peaks lining Gastineau Channel. Time to get back to the house. Wind will rock the car was we drive across the Douglas Bridge. 

This afternoon, while the little dog lays curled up on our floor, warmed by sun coming through the window, wind-driven snow will tidy up the mess we left on the meadow.

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