In Anchorage, out by Kincaid Park and half-hidden by a network of weaving trails, lies a sweeping vista of sand dunes.
The dunes rise up in white splendor. They rise up unexpectedly, and almost oddly. They are an anomaly, and because of that I love them, love to run up the dunes in my bare feet, the grey-white sand cushioning my soles as my ankles sink down and my toes flex and I feel like a kid again, playing on the beach of Lake Erie.
But I’m not a kid and I’m not on the shores of Lake Erie. I’m in Anchorage, where the summer twilight stretches out past midnight, and I’m walking the beach at 10 p.m., and it’s still light and the sun is sinking, but slowly, and the dog is yanking the leash because a porcupine is roaming the trail ahead of us. And all around is silence, broken only by the cadence of the waves hitting the shore.
I love this place in the summer, when the light fades but never quite leaves. The twilight energizes me, and soothes me. Sometimes I think that it nourishes parts of my soul.
The light is intoxicating. It gets in my blood, makes me feel wild and fierce until I have to keep moving, walking and running up the sandy hills.
When the sun finally sets, everything quiets. The birds rustle in the trees and then settle down, and even the waves sound softer, more muted, as if in tribute.