Alaskan Wildfire Birthday

Wildfires wrapped me in their hazy cocoon yesterday.
Muffled all sounds and thoughts like a cold,
Like the eerie quiet of underwater. Orange sun transformed my living room into a glass of Tang. 
A parliament of eagles vied for salmon guts on the beach, chasing off the ravens over daisies and seaweed. Quarreling ravens forced out a few of their own in a screaming cacophony. Five scouts set off in precise fighter jet formation. Peace granted again.
My daughter returned from the beach smelling like wild mint. “I saw a moving rock!” she said. “A moving rock – what is she talking about?” The beach remained frozen in time.
Suddenly a rock became a porcupine and hobbled along the water’s edge.
Dinner fit for a mermaid of garlic shrimp and beach asparagus transported me back to Costa Rica, if just for a moment.
Out in front, a mama orca taught her two babies to hunt while Daddy long-fin kept watch in the distance. 
At 9:45 P.M., the wildfire sun glowed hot pink above the horizon, marking June’s finale in a brilliant exclamation point.

Photo: Kerry Howard

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