|Hiking to Lost Lake in Hatcher Pass|
Spring is here. And so is the sun. It rises about six a.m. now, and sets long past 10 p.m. By this time next month, it'll go down along the horizon between two and four a.m. We Alaskans tend to sleep a lot less in the summer, partly because there are much better things to do, and partly because we're like solar panels, absorbing all this energy. Last summer, I averaged around five hours a night.
I'm a teacher, so summer to me means a mental freedom I don't have the rest of the year. For three months, I can wander through the rooms of my brain without bumping into lesson plans or schedules. And, like the trees and the birds and the salmon and the bears, my imagination goes crazy.
Last summer, I fell into this rabbit hole of story, typing so fast I'd blink and realize hours had passed. Throughout the day, I'd drift back to my laptop like it was a bag of chocolate, stealing moments to write like a guilty binge eater. Even while dipnetting with my son, or hiking Hatcher Pass or picking berries or coaching soccer or watching a baseball game, I had to stop myself from zoning out, from turning inward to plot, rearrange, compose.
Summer: the best time to be an Alaskan. For me, the best time to be a writer.