Light Struggles with Dark in More Ways Than One!

By , December 22, 2010

Considering how I carried on about the Winter Solstice yesterday, you might expect that we spent the day celebrating—setting everyday cares and work aside, tracking the sun’s progress across the sky, eating and drinking, and the like. If you did, that makes two of us, and we would both be wrong.

Yesterday, like the day itself, was a balance of light and dark that had little to do with the celestial progress of the day. It was a day that brought into sharp focus some of the extra effort that is sometimes required of us to live as we do.

Little Creek, Mud Bay, Alaska

The ice on the "little creek," Mud Bay, where Aly and I parted to rendezvous with Michelle (Photo: Mark Zeiger).

It all began with Aly and I going to town.

On the light side:

We saw a cow moose and a dark-coated calf in the blow down, the first moose we’ve seen in a while.

The tire rim I damaged in Juneau was judged unrepairable, but a call to Juneau set a used rim on its way on the afternoon plane.

Aly’s results from the SAT Subject Tests came out on line. She took two tests, Literature and World History. Out of a possible 800, she scored 760 and 740, respectively!

We had a great time in town, shopping for stocking stuffers and Christmas dinner. We got a great deal on a large turkey, which we lugged back to the car, where the dark half began to assert itself . . . .

Winter Solstice 2010 on Mud Bay, Alaska

On the light side, while standing in sea slush in -20 wind chills, this was my Winter Solstice view! (Photo: Mark Zeiger).

On the dark side:

We’d locked the keys in the car! We called a friend, who generously agreed to come get us and drive us to the bay. We called Michelle and asked her to bring out her key. Unfortunately, the tide was too high to cross. Aly had kept her boots on, so she and I hiked out onto the bay to the small creek, where she crossed the ice and ran to meet Michelle, who hiked for a full hour from the cabin to reach the rendezvous! We got the key, got into the car, and resumed our day. But the dark half wasn’t finished.

The shop never heard back from the air carrier about the rim. Both businesses closed for the day while we sat at the library, awaiting word.

We drove to the bay, parked on the roadside, and began to assemble gear for another cold, windy crossing. We heard a strange hissing sound, and found that the rear tire, companion to the damaged one, was leaking through a crack in its wall! We threw the jack under the car and cranked it up far enough to keep the weight of the car from settling on the rim, then gave up and hiked home. By the time we arrived, we had very little energy or will to celebrate the Solstice, or anything else.

Today, we have to deal with it all somehow. But, if I just continue to write on this post, perhaps it’ll all go away . . . ?

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