Sometimes fate has a way of just sending you back home, and so it appears I too will be going home, back to Alaska. It will be strange to be spending my ritual to welcome the return of my lord Apollon not in sunshine and splendor, but among the cold snows and the slow budding of life. But perhaps this is the root of my relationship with Apollon, that which truly manifested in the place of my birth. Not sunny tropics, but the place where ancient ice, such a marvelous prismatic substance, still groans across the earth. And where the year is truly divided in this extreme climate as the return of spring is greeted as a return of light and hope. There is little blooming this time of the year, aside from some tight brown buds on the trees or perhaps some pussy willows which are the sign of spring in that far northern land, but the return of the light is a promise.
There are no soft beaches, but rather hard stone in a land laden with mineral wealth, and the unending sun across the days and nights of summer. Never did you see a such a sight if you have not seen it with your own eyes! To see the midnight sun. But even in winter there are his glories, for no where else is the moon and stars so bright, or so clearly seen the aurora borealis which I call his heavenly dance. In the darkest and longest nights you can truly get an appreciation for and be able to see his manifestation in all forms of light as his northernly torch casts its rays everywhere. A place where a multitude of black ravens play their games with the sun, and bald eagles lift up on broad wings. A place where falcons dart and hawks soar, and moose rattle their horns, and where the plenitude of fish are snared from the sea. And the return of the trumpeter swans every April, what a sight that is! To see their white wings and hear their enchanting calls, as they travel to their nesting grounds. Even in its extremes there is magic there, and beauty.
It is a land where Poseidon rules, the cherished seas with their dangerous rolling waves, and insane men who tempt them in order to bring in the catches of fish and crabs that dwell within them. Where the earth frequently shakes. And throughout the summer Demeter’s glory reaches rapidly for the sun, that even as brief as our growing season is, the plenitude of sunlight brings grains and vegetables, and many kinds of fruits, to their ripeness. And then there are the mountains, the tall peaks upon which in my youth I imagined Zeus reclining upon, and Artemis leaping down their heights through the rugged terrain. Artemis’ land surely it is, for this Last Frontier. Few places on earth are as wild, and the forests creep into the city’s edge. And I can’t see this changing anytime soon due to Alaska’s nature. The long dark winters and extremely cold temperatures are alone enough to turn most reasonable folk away. But it is a beautiful place, and the first place I connected to on a spiritual level.
So I am going home, to great the old mountain Denali, and the mountain Sleeping Lady. To say hello again to the marshes and inlets. I will miss the sunny warmth of the south, and part of me is sad for leaving, but another part of me rises from the depth of my chest and radiates sheer pleasure. This Alaskan girl is going home…..to stay.