Spring Thaw

Above is a picture of a thin crack in the sea ice near shore here in Shishmaref.

The earth is leaning into the sun, more so each day, and at last winter is letting go. For a few consecutive days now, the temperature has soared to just above freezing. What was once a deep pack of snow so cold it squeaked under boot fall has turned to slush, and today, for the first time in many months, there are a few small pools of open water. Although snowdrifts up to several feet high remain in places and most of the island is still covered in snow, here and there a few brown tufts of last year’s grass have emerged amidst bare patches of sand. Light breezes coming out of the south feel luxurious on our faces. We leave our hats and mittens behind.

Yesterday, two Canada geese passed overhead, coming home.