It was cold. Really cold. In fact, it hadn’t been over negative Fahrenheit for over a month, and it was only January. Winter lasts a long time in Alaska. It would be another two months before it would raise past single digits. Just a few days prior I had suffered a traumatic physical experience which saw me in shock and bleeding without stopping for hours, which turned into days.
I was weak. Body and soul. I was hurting. I was alienated. I needed to get outside. Let nature touch me as only it can. I was driven to the beach at my request and out I clambered of the truck, ice and negative degrees be damned.
Typically, the waves are crashing on my beach but today, it was calm. So calm and quiet. The sea water was freezing. Laying micro-thin layers and layers of ice on the sand, rocks, coal, and sticks which litter the beach. On top of the gently moving water was a thin layer of ice as well, though this was broken into small sheets with the movement constantly mushing them together and breaking them apart. These ice rafts varied in size and sat just slightly below the surface.
It was divine. It was magic. It was healing. I squatted near the edge of the high-tide mark, looking out at it all. Trying not to breathe in too deep because it was so cold in my lungs. Tears ran down my cheeks and they burned and froze.
Questions flooded my mind. Why do these things happen? What if….? Gratefulness, in spite of it all. I will be okay. But what if…? No point in obsessing. Look around. It’s so damn beautiful. I’ve never seen the beach just like this. And tomorrow it will be different. It will be the same. But it will be different. Like me. Tomorrow is a new day. I will never be who I was yesterday again.
I am the same. I am different.
tara caribou | ©2021
*video and story are mine from this same time last year. My how the days and months roll on…
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