From This Land
By: Brad Cole

After work, I walked down along the shoreline of the lagoon. That large inland sea can freeze in a single night, I thought, and within hours the soft ice turns hard and fast. What was once daylight has become darkness while the floating, squawking ravens emerge from the snowy wind. This is how the Arctic conquers; at night, I thoughtfully felt about the changing season through its lofty coldness.

The land of Point Hope, where I have been staying, is shaped like the beak of a raven. The thin slice of gravel-filled land rests beneath a tall colorful, and quickly changing sky. Wherever one goes, an ocean is nearby with the sound of crashing waves. The snow drifts in a nightly wind, just like the clouds in the Arctic sky. The spirits of the sky are in its clouds. Look closely, and you can see faces; I reflected while gazing into the landscape during a walk on the shore.

Once down by the lagoon, I saw a large, round ball of yellow, orange, and green lights floating in the sky, facing the low sun in the west. I could see its different colors wavering in the winds. It floated patiently there as though waiting for something and then slowly vanished into the clouds.

Below where it once was on the distant dark blue horizon, a largely white, beautifully shaped cloud was pouring thick sheets of snow down upon the sea and land like a woman watering an icy garden.

I turn around from the beach to walk home into the snowy wind. It was getting dark early, and the streetlights had started.

Looking up, I saw some ravens squawk and whirl with large black wings in the strong, cold winds as they chased one another for fun.

Pausing on my walk, I turned to look once more at the distant skies. From this land, my spirit comes forth; I felt thoughtful. And in the night, the cold will descend to conquer all and deliver my soul onto the starry seas of forever.