When the summer settles in down here and the air becomes fluid and humid, I start missing the cool dry air of Alaskan summers. I miss the robin’s egg blue glaciers, and the fireworks they gave off before calving and falling into the ocean. I miss the moss that covered the ground, I miss the white birch and the black fir and the cool rain that misted the air.
But for all of my gumdrop reverie, I have to remind myself: there are beautiful things here that are not there. Here, there are butterflies as big as my fist, with orange wings and polka dot faces. There are fireflies that blink green and blue and gold, and fill up our front yard with color and light under the stars. We can see the stars all summer. Midnight does not mean sun, or purple twilight. It means quiet, crickets, cicadas, thunderstorms, the full moon and warm air.