Snow is falling for the first time this autumn. Mixed with rain, combined with the gusts up to 40 mph, it hits all that stands in its way at a 45-degree angle. We have a choice-stay inside with a hot cup of coffee or take advantage of that costly winter gear and explore.
Behind Kotzebue, the arctic cotton grass, dwarf birch, and arctic willow stand firm in defiance at the winter assault. The cemetery stands guard over the town below. Reduced visibility has one guessing at what lies beyond the edges.
This cemetery is magnificent, not for an artificial facade and landscaped gardens, but for its testament of a people who chose to go exploring when the temperatures fell, and winds howled… they prevailed.
Wrinkles on my weather-beaten face and hands mirror untold stories of those in the frozen ground whose crosses and headstones bear the same aged features. Wrinkles of joy and creases of laughter join in to create the landscape of this face.
With today’s world of Botox and ageless beauty, are we too quick to dye gray hair and remove the well-earned crow’s feet that portray a remarkable life lived?