Friday, January 28, 2011

Winter Sun

At 3pm this afternoon I walked into a meeting with two other people that was supposed to last for one hour.
Two and a half hours later we walked out of the meeting.
I looked at my supervisors' supervisor and the conversation went like this:
Me:  I need alcohol
Him:  Me too
Me: Wanna go for a beer?
Him: I need something stronger
Me: Wanna go for a drink?
Him: Yeah.
We all went to a bar at the Coast Guard Station for burgers and drinks...........

Three hours earlier I walked out of my third meeting of the morning into bright sunshine, blue sky, cool temperatures and a gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous day.
I walked along the streets of town, stopped and spoke with a colleague for a few minutes who was standing on a street corner.
He was leaning up against a building with his head tilted towards the sky and with his eyes closed.
Taking in the warmth of the sun...........

As I continued to walk and wander I passed by two other coworkers who were sitting on a bench outside eating lunch.
Taking in the warmth of the sun............

I walked slowly, trying to catch my breath.
Trying to slow my heart rate.
Trying to slow my brain that was racing at warp speed (Warp factor five Mr Sulu - engage).........

I walked through the center of town, walked across the street from Marine Park, walked down towards the tourist section of town that is deserted and boarded up for the winter and then made my way back along the boardwalk.
I tried to slow myself down.  To enjoy the sun.  To enjoy the water.
I looked out over Gastineau Channel that was ridiculously blue, up at the sky that was ridiculously blue, across at the snow capped mountains over on Douglas Island.
Slow down Karin. 
Slow down Karin.
Slow down Karin.
I worked on walking slowly, thinking slowly, moving slowly, breathing slowly.
And then I received two back to back phone calls from employees at the office and walked back to my truck.............

The picture above is one small part of a native Alaskan mural that is painted along the entire length of one wall of City Hall, located directly across the street from Marine Park.
The pictures below are of puddles - frozen in the perpetual shade of the Sub Port parking lot in front of the Coast Guard Station downtown...........
One of the most interesting and colorful paintings in a town of multiple exterior building artwork in downtown Juneau.........
Because the Red Dog is such a renowned bar located across from where the cruise ships dock in the summer, I stopped into the Red Dog with my son when he visited last August.
Even though it was gorgeous and very warm the day we were there, the bar was packed.
Filled with tourists who were also curious and eager to experience the darkened Red Dog Saloon.
On that warm and sunny day we paid too much money for one glass of beer, listened to a mediocre singer crooning old time country songs in the middle of the day, and people watched.
One of those things that everyone who comes to Juneau needs to do at least once...........
Juneau is a beautiful city.
I love the mountains located in back of town.
I love the channel located in front of town.
Juneau has a combination of an old western and old gold mining feel to it.
And because tourism is so integral to the financial health of the city, there are touches throughout the town that are pleasing and pleasant - boardwalks, small green spaces, statues, old time lamp posts, and in the summer flowers and flags and banners.
With the exception of the odd stroller or runner, there were very few people on the street today even though the sun was shining.............
I see this man walking often in downtown Juneau.
He always wears the same animal coat - tail and all.
One of a number of eclectic and eccentric individuals that grace this town year round.........
It has been quite a while since I walked this section of town.
Today I remembered how much I enjoy this area regardless of the time of year.
I love it in the winter when it is isolated and quiet and empty.
I love it in the summer when it is filled with tourists and traffic and noise...........
The building to the right of the picture is one of what are now two multi-story downtown parking garages.
On the top floor of this garage is the downtown library.
The library is huge, well stocked, and contains large windows that provide panoramic views of the channel and mountains...........
All kinds of blue and all kinds of beautiful..........
On a day like today I could have happily spent many hours walking on and sitting on the boardwalk.
Looking at the mountains, watching the few boats on the water, watching the birds and the people and the planes.
Many hours.
Happily spent............
A very sweet and beautiful dog sitting patiently waiting for her people outside a restaurant in town..........
Winter Sun
Standing here upon the rocks
Of a dark-grey Caithness shore
I marvel at the beauty
Of a pale-gold winter sun
Which through such rare appearance
Seems ever now more precious
As it casts shimmering light
On the waters of the bay
So too upon the shingle
Down there by the waters edge
That dazzles now like diamonds
Revealed by an ebbing tide
And as a gull - there wheeling
Silhouettes against its light
I turn and leave this splendour
In love with a winter sun.
 Author Unknown..............

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