Anchorage. Heaven on earth. My face pressed to the oblong porthole of the Alaska Airlines 727 swirling down to the tarmac. Home. No matter where I live, this will always be my home. My room with a view, the view that opens in my heart and thunders through my body with each pulse of blood. In my veins, in my heart, in my mind and memories. Home.
Sitting on grass near the mostly buried social security office in the federal complex. Its windowed roof sticking up out of the grass. A flowering tree nearby. The white of the federal building catching the intense alpenglow color of the sunset backscattering through the sky. So entranced, such joy.
Standing at a window, looking due east. There are areas of the sky with no stars. From the ground up, it is all black. I know that is where the mountains are, thrusting their stony spires up and up, over five thousand feet. You can’t see stars through the rocky peaks of the Chugach Range. And then. And then. I can actually see the difference between the mountain and the black winter sky. Barely. Transfixed, I watch as the sky gets lighter, lighter, and then fire climbs the outlines of the valleys and the peaks. And sometimes my eyes tear up from the sheer beauty. If What Dreams May Come‘s premise is correct and we create our own heavens after we die, I’ll never die, because I’m living it.
Lying on sleeping bag atop a tarp atop deep snow. Overhead the night sky glows green white.
For a few seconds the glowing curtains pause, then an area brightens and suddenly a tight spiral twirls into existence overhead, pauses, then a green-white ray shoots out in a pulsing ribbon of excited electrons. The storm of electrons from a solar storm turns the midnight sky into a painter’s dream. The Frosty Fiddler is painting the sky with his song turned into color and fire. There are so many legends among the native groups including the spirits playing ball with a walrus skull. My stories are of the spirits of the ancestors dancing with joy across the night sky, their love and remembrance glowing down on those of us still below.
There is no place in the universe I could imagine that would capture my heart in the way Anchorage has – Alaska has.