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Emily Grossman

June 21, 2007 at 9:46 AM

We never go to bed these days, and why should we? When we involuntarily do, it is by the overwhelming force of exhaustion. Even so, moments after my eyes shut, the sun nudges me back out of bed to greet the next day.

Halfway through my work load at the kitchen today, I realised that it was finally upon us: Solstice! This year, to accompany 24 hours of daylight, clear skies and sunshine brought the temperature up to an astonishing 77 degrees. As soon as I wiped down the counters, I couldn’t round up my hiking gear fast enough. Passing RV’s, flipping to my favorite tunes, and reveling in my bare skin under the bluebird sky, I was in heaven. When it's hot, the south-facing Skyline trail turns into a baking oven. Between the sweet steaming soil and the magnifying glass overhead, I relaxed happily into my misery, dripping freely as I pushed the stale air out of my lungs.

That’s what we’re waiting for. That’s what we’re all waiting for, the sunny day with balmy air and warm skin. We look forward to it all year long, and it’s funny how that perfect apex happens in just a moment, and then the daylight slips right back down the backside again. From this day forward, time will snip off bits and pieces of the sun, almost unnoticeably. Then, six months from now, while wrapped in blankets, while snow blankets the sweet smells of summer, I will want to remember today.

With best intentions toward practice time this evening, I made a quick run to town before settling down with my violin. I’m not sure what happened to the time. One minute, I was chatting with a friend in the bacon section, and the next minute I was bursting into my home, anxious to grab my camera for some photos of the forest fire plume I’d seen on the way back. Fire plumes, wild roses, late night sunsets over Mount Spurr--I just couldn’t see enough of it. The evening was suspended in rosy twilight. The sun paused for a few extra moments over the lake before nestling into the distant mountains. And then it was midnight.

From David Russell
Posted on June 21, 2007 at 1:25 PM

You live a blessed life in such magnificent beauty. I can only wish to one day be in such a place. Enjoy it to the fullest!

From Antonio Lofu
Posted on June 21, 2007 at 1:24 PM
Nice pictures!

what beautiful places!

I could show in the pictures just dirty streets in my town and trash bags along the streets. Sigh...

Fortunately it is enough to take a ride by bycicle to get to wonderful places (at least presently)to take a bath and lie under the sun.Ahhh....

From Barbara S
Posted on June 21, 2007 at 1:44 PM

The best sunset-over-a-lake photo I ever took was in Jasper, Alberta a few years back (unfortunately it was not digital). There is something very special about these northern latitudes in the summer.

Emily, I love the smoke plume...keep them coming (err, photos, not smoke plumes)!!

From Ariel Lindgren
Posted on June 21, 2007 at 5:25 PM
Your poetic writing correspond really to this miracle that also the northen part of Scandinavia just now is enjoying.
There is a great peace in this gigantic and dynamic, but of harmony
created nature.
My soul is smoothed, if that is English?
Be well!
From Pauline Lerner
Posted on June 21, 2007 at 10:38 PM
Your photos are gorgeous, and so is your description of your feelings on this unusual day. Things are much less dramatic in the temperate zones.
From Karin Lin
Posted on June 21, 2007 at 11:28 PM
My parents are vacationing in Alaska right now and I just got email saying "It's nearly midnight and it's still light out." Thanks for sharing those beautiful pictures.
From Emily Grossman
Posted on June 22, 2007 at 9:43 AM
David, save up a little time and travel money, and get on up here! With a little bug dope, a good rain coat, and a comfortably durable pair of shoes, I guarantee you'll like it.

Antonio, I admit, taking a pretty photo here is like finding something sweet in a candy shop. I challenge you today to find something beautiful right there, in the midst of where you live, and capture it.

(Nice fork technique, by the way. :) )

Barbara, thanks for the multiple posts. I do those from time to time. At a certain point, I get this urge to post forty billion posts just to say "There, how do you like that?"

Ariel, thanks for sharing your viewpoint. You and I understand each other in this respect, don't we?

Karin, where are your parents? Anywhere near here?

From Karin Lin
Posted on June 22, 2007 at 7:14 PM
Hi Emily, they're in Fairbanks, but my knowledge of Alaska geography is scant so I don't know if that's near you. My mom said it was 91F there!
From Emily Grossman
Posted on June 22, 2007 at 10:02 PM
I've never been to Fairbanks. It lies about 500 miles to the north, in the interior part of the state. Being further inland, it experiences hotter summers and colder winters than coastal towns like Soldotna.

Hope they're having fun!

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