I live in a place where, when summer ends, the sun literally sets on it's magnificant beauty for six months before being awaken by the dreary moans that summon her from her relentless sleep in mid-February by thousands of Alaskans calling a halt to another tireless winter of slumber, excessive tv watching and gouging oil prices.
Our summers here in Alaska are known worldly as some of the most beautiful summers on earth, and rightly so since the sun only gets to show her beauty in its full splender about three months out of the year. Summers here are a time to quickly grow the food to substain our winters, marvel at the beautiful purple fireweed that enhances our landscape, splash around in our massive rivers and where the multitude of tourists can take in our mountainous terrain and ample wildlife. As an Alaskan, I take pride in our summers because it makes the winters here worth every ounce of effort.
The summer now is quickly fading. The last of the tourists are taking in the increasingly cold mornings to take one last look around before heading back to their own homes. The men are out hunting moose, caribou and reindeer so as to feed their families through the winter. The women are turning out more and more to register for a class or two or to take part in one of the many groups that swell in numbers as our long, sunny days draw to close, such as my knitting group. I am starting to see people I haven't seen all summer show up with their half done projects and lengthy reports about their monumental adventures over the summer.
The signs of impending winter are clear. No more endless summer nights, so a walk to the outhouse requires a flashlight and a heightened sense of awareness for moose lurking around in the dark. The leaves are turning quickly to their incandecent shades of brown, auburn and yellow just as quickly as they bloomed green with envy five months ago. The fog blankets the morning trip to work, which will soon be replaced with the seamingly endless blanket of snow and darkness and bitter cold. The sweaters and blankets are dusted off and the coats and mittens are taken out of hibernation. The end of summer is proceeding rapidly and I will look on the horizon one last time and say farwell to the sun's luminecent beauty and blow her a kiss till next we meet.