Monday, March 21, 2011


It's the official first day of spring and I'm finding myself wistful for snow. Oh, there's still plenty of snow around Fairbanks. We've been having day-time temperatures in the 30's fairly regularly now but nothing has melted. Folk tell me that from here on out it'll keep getting warmer. Undoubtedly there will be one more snowfall, just to make people crabby, and then it'll be full on melt.
The streets are just about clear of snow and ice which has given me a whole new set of driving issues to deal with. I had just gotten used to where my car should be on the snow covered streets, but now that I can see where the lanes actually are, it's a whole new ballgame. The real lanes don't match where I was driving. I'm adjusting.

What I'm missing is snow covered trees. When I first arrived in Fairbanks the limb of every tree was covered in snow. Driving from the airport to the car rental agency it was the first thing that struck me about Fairbanks. A welcome surprise.

I remember driving past the row of trees above. It was dusk and the white branches set against the pink and purple tones of the sky were exquisite. As the cab drove by it felt like I was in a movie, driving in slow motion watching these trees. In that moment I knew I had made the right decision in coming here--no regrets, no hesitations--it was the right thing to have done.

Up until a few weeks ago when we had a bit of wind, the snow stayed perfectly frozen on all the trees. Everywhere I went there were beautiful frosty trees.
The road into Eielson.
Trail at the University
Path at Creamer's Field
I'll miss frozen eyelashes:
I'll miss snow blowing across the roads:

I'll miss the snow covered base housing on Eielson:

Most of all, I'll miss my favorite tree. This tree is a few blocks from my enviable address and I see it at least once a day. When covered with snow it was simply, amazing.

And now it's just a regular ol' tree.

The soft light of the short days is now gone, and sunset is after 8:00. The longer days feel luxurious. Yet, I miss my snow covered trees. Everything is the same, yet everything is different. Isn't that how the saying goes?

I'm not sure I'm ready for spring. Oh sure, with spring comes kayaking, beers on the patio, shorts and sandals, and the sublime sensation of feeling warm air on my skin. I'll enjoy it, I know. But right now, I miss the snow. I miss the sweet anticipation of things yet to come that a fresh snowfall brings. When the snow turns muddy and slushy it's merely a reminder of the disappointment that settles into your heart after a failed promise. My fingers are crossed for one more good dumping of snow so I can see my tree again. Let's hope.

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