Summer is Coming

On the drive into school and work today, my daughter proclaimed from the back seat, “Mom! You were right! It rained yesterday and now the sun is making all the trees explode!” I smiled, both in my pride of her love of nature and that she actually listened to my ramblings.

It’s such a magical time of year in Alaska. So many of the travelers to our dreamy state focus on the key months of summer to visit and while those times are special in their own way, spring is so powerful for Alaskans. My body seems to buzz with anticipation and adjusts from the slow and intentional tempo of winter to the bright and busy sound of summer. The daylight increase forces quick adjustment to sleeping less and dinnertime seems to drift later and later.

Spring has many forms in Alaska…snow just happens to be one of them.

The weather is moody and we had a false spring that made even the most seasoned Alaskans grumble. March was the new April, everyone said. It was sunny and warm and we even had a beach weekend with tank tops and no down coats. I paddleboarded for hours with my kids and let the sun soak us and everyone agreed—summer is here early. When it snowed—and snowed—it was difficult to handle, but as Alaska unfurls this time, we know it’s real and perhaps we’re a little more appreciative.

If you don’t meet with your best buddies now to make plans, your calendar fills up. I have work trips planned to Fairbanks, Juneau, and Prince of Wales Island for May. Most of June will be spent sailing with my family, unplugged from the entire world, in Prince William Sound and Kenai Fjords National Park. July will fly by with the long holiday weekend and more travels to Southeast Alaska, and then it’ll be August, and time for caribou and moose hunting. My daughter starts kindergarten in the fall and her excitement to go to a school with skis and hockey skates outweighs my fear of normalcy and change.

Before I get ahead of myself, and let my head spin through the next three months, I’m going to stop. I’m going to appreciate the brilliant green explosion outside, the musky smell of winter fading away and new life taking its place. The birds seem louder and more excited to share their song, and so do I.