“Watch, wait, write” Sherry Simpson
“Be astonished!” Mary Oliver

And so it was that I walked out to the Boy Scout beach at Eagle River during a rare December thaw, prepared to be astonished. And as this photo shows, frozen rain drops reflecting the snow free forest was astonishing. Red berries emerged scattered across yellow grasses. Blueberry branches were red with tiny buds.

A raven flew up from the raging river swollen from snow melt and heavy rains. He had a gray slimy morsel clasped tightly and was being chased by a hungry eagle.

I walked across the meadow towards the calm ocean, the Chilkat mountain range backlit in the distance. The sun and rain danced in and out of the many mounds of clouds. To the north, dark foreboding blurs of black. To the west a golden glow with a promise of spring. I sit on a bleached wet soggy log and do as Sherry Simpson advises. I watch and wait before writing.

I see a patch of blue in the midst of cloud cover. We call that a “sucker hole” A friend walking her dog looks at the blue and says, “When I stare long enough, I can almost see summer.”

Well, not for awhile. The solstice is still ten days off and today we are returning to winter with heavy snowfall.