In The Light Of The Midnight Sun

6:16 PM
May 23, 1983

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In The Light Of The Midnight Sun

This short bit of prose came to me while watching the light of the midnight sun from Eagle Summit Alaska. It was written just before the millennium and captures the joy of enduring the extremes of the Alaskan Interior for more than 10 years.




In The Light Of The Midnight Sun


After a while it gets into your blood. You live through a winter with temperatures that plummet to sixty below zero and at mid day, the sun just barely peeks over the mountains to the south for a few hours. The darkness and cold seek to lodge in recess of your body, mind and spirit, and the battle ensues to counter it's insidious attack.

The battle is waged with tools of activity like cross country skiing, jogging, using the gymnasium and frequent trips to the tanning salon. But no matter what you do, there never seems to be enough effort made to counter the effects of prolonged darkness and cold. Just when you think you are going to break, you realize that days are getting longer, shadows grow shorter and shorter with each passing day and finally it starts.

You walk out one day and realize that there is water dripping off the roof of the house from melting snow. You notice a tiny blade of grass that has pushed its way up through the snow in a shielded south facing corner of the house. You begin to feel something happening inside you. A pulse of life is quickening and with it the sounds of north bound Canada geese are heard over head and far away.

With each passing day the pulse of life is quickening faster and faster as buds begin to pop out on the trees, cautiously waiting for every last hint of frost to fade away. Soon the snow is receding back toward the shadows, back toward the north facing hiding places behind buildings as if to maintain a bunkered position in a war against the sun. But alas it gives way to the omnipresent sun as he makes his way to the great circle of light filling every part of the sky; not even the northern exposures can offer refuge for the last snows as the sun now dominate every domain of the northern sky.

Leaves burst forth, flowers abound, the air fills with song and fragrance as the pulse of life quickens to a euphoric delirium. The uncontrolled desire to rush into the summer sky fills your heart and you are suddenly caught up with the rush of life that surges on the waves of time.

Like the transcendent moments in your lovers arms, all knowledge of time is lost and you cascade and tumble through the rumble of shower skies and rainbows ride before the time of rushing summer breezes. I run and ride the wind and fill all that the sun can touch. I reach out embrace this time and space forever cherish in my heart. Leaping, rushing, gathering the flower fragrant memories to store in chambers of my mind. The purple flowers, red roses and soft Arctic cotton brush my cheek, and in that moment I pause to see the great arc of the sun tilt its endless circle toward the pole. The red light fills my heart, the thrills of family hugs embrace. Silence so deafening that my heart beat sounds the rhythm of time. Vast, oh so vast this land that shines the image of the world beyond, and in the silence, quiet echoes fading softly I stand on the threshold of eternity to touch the Face of God.


Audio File


Updated: November 09, 2023


© Copyright February 10, 2004 by Michael Rice





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