February at Loon Lake

Back from a day of skiing into Denali’s presence

This view from our cabin at Loon Lake we often call “Denali T.V.” as we sit and watch it “change channels” all day long. As clouds shift and light slants in from low angles now in winter, the shadows create entirely new views as the day passes. But it is the presence of The Great One that is so deeply satisfying. It grounds our experience in this place and literally lifts our spirits, never waning after my coming here for 40 years. Our days fall into a routine of timelessness. We wake when we wake. We eat when we are hungry. We notice what we want to do but without agenda. The snow is 5 feet deep this year after some recent slim years. Our 8 days here alternated between cloudless days to 3 days of heavy snow, accumulating up to 2 feet. It is a wild place, 5 miles from the road system. Days begin to lengthen in February yet the temperatures keep us stuffing the wood stove all night long.

Cross-country skis frame the sauna and woodshed
The cache where we store supplies during summer to keep the critters out

The Book I’m Reading Now

The Overstory by Richard Powers

This book, almost a tome, was given to me by a cherished friend. The writing and the organization of the book is fascinating. The author introduces 6 characters per chapter that come from wildly different backgrounds and temperaments. And then he weaves them into the theme that is the common denominator in the book: TREES. The last 3 sections are called Roots, Trunk and Branches. I have no idea how this author came to know so much about so many different elements of life, but especially about trees. There is drama and romance and fantasy and at times almost scientific writing. I had to read it so slowly, unusual for me. But it is a book that impacts and endures. I now walk around looking at trees, knowing the fact that we share 25% of the same DNA. And trees are constantly communicating.