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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Waxing About Waning

Fireweed is here. This lovely, magenta-colored indigenous bloom, which commonly shows its face in July, is starting to pop up everywhere. It begins blooming from the bottom of its blossom upward. For Alaskans, fireweed is a harbinger of things to come; a reminder that summer's waning is imminent. The legend, as I understand it, is that once fireweed goes to seed, coating the city in a second "summer snow" (second to that of the cottonwoods), the first winter snow is only six weeks away. So when I see the fireweed, it is a bit like a first golden maple leaf, or a first frost, or a first pumpkin of autumn. Fireweed is as distinct a flower as a daisy, and its vibrant fushia color makes it impossible to ignore.

I feel both melancholy and cozy when I see fireweed, torn between toasting my skin in the summer sun, and curling on the couch watching termination dust creep down the mountains. So, here is the fireweed, and I'm only just beginning to realize that summer is upon us.

In other news: We just concluded a 12-day visit from Bruce's sister's family. Liz, Steve, and their two boys, Brendan (9) and Patrick (4), melded with our family, and together we had various adventures, the details of which I'm already having a hard time remembering. Fortunately, Steve played the role of photojournalist for the trip using his fancy new camera, so at least we have some still lifes with which to jog collective memories.

Based on the pictures, there seems to have been some fishing, a birthday party, a little bit of sight-seeing, the zoo, a bear, a couple glaciers, a few moose, camping on a lake with some other people, a parade, several restaurants, and what seemed like many bottles of wine.

Of course, Steve did such a great job taking pictures there are almost too many to choose from. (Actually, for some reason, at themoment I am having issues uploading pics. I'll try tomorrow when it is a more reasonable hour and when I don't have an Ellie-girl on lap.) At least this is a start.

With the major event of our summer now behind us (yes you guys, for better or worse, you count as a "major event"), we hardly know what to do with ourselves. Well, at any rate, I don't know. Bruce has three weekend fishing trips to look forward to, plus his birthday. Shortly thereafter, it will be back to school for the kids. Their first day is August 22nd.

I imagine at that point my eyes will begin to drift back toward the mountains, but instead of the expectation of summer's upward-spreading green, I will instead seek signs of a downward-blanketing white; that icy canopy beneath which a most fertile and colorful world will again return to sleep .


At 1:23 PM, Blogger Gateway School and Learning Center said...

I bet I could help you come up with some ways to fill up the rest of your summer. Will chat soon.

At 4:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And likewise, you were our MAJOR EVENT. Thank you so much for opening your home and your lives.

Just checked the Iditarod 08 dates, and it looks like we could come up for the start. Keep your fingers crossed! We'd bring more wine, too (especially the hot spiced variety...yum!)



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