Morning in Alaska

Take your watch off when you arrive, and don’t put it back on until you depart. That way all you know is that when light comes, it’s morning. Push back the wool blanket and sit up in bed. Open the window and lean out into the air–it is the exhalations of spruce, hemlock, and cedar trees, with a touch of cool Pacific saltwater. The ruckus of marbled murrelets reaches your ears. They are sea birds and forest birds at the same time, so their voices hold a little of both–some tweeting and peeping, and avoidance of pure melody. If you’re lucky, a big raven will flap precisely over and drop a “Kraa-awk” into the breezeless day.

Later you can walk out into the crunchy snow and listen to the forest birds tuning up for spring. There’s a chickadee, and some kind of finch that you should know but the name won’t fall off your tongue. And one or two songs you have never heard before. A scent trail of woodsmoke penetrates your nose, and then floats away. The whole day beckons.

3 thoughts on “Morning in Alaska

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