In April, it seems like things began changing incredibly fast. The month of March and the long-awaited Iditarod came and went in a blur, temperatures got warmer, days became longer, and deep cracks started to form in the sea ice. I left Alaska for ten days and came back to what seemed like an entirely different place. Almost two hours of daylight had been gained, the snow was rapidly melting, and my winter gear had quickly become unnecessary. Breakup season was underway.
And with this resurgence of the sun and change in life here in Nome and around the region came great changes in my personal life. Much like the sea ice, my life became full of moments of breaking and rebuilding, and of heading into the next chapter.
And yet, amidst sadness I found strength in our region. I found deeper connections with close friends, and an increased kinship with nature. Maybe most importantly, I found strength and resilience in myself.
This strength is something I’ve learned from many people and in many areas of my life over the years, but it’s something that I’ve continued to learn here in western Alaska. It’s the grace and the grit that I’ve been struck by in every community I’ve visited, and in the one that I currently call home, and also in every person that I’ve met in my time in Alaska.
Now, as the ice breaks and floats away, I look forward to the change in seasons and the start of a new adventure. I know that I am strong and resilient and that I, too, have grace and grit, something that I attribute, in part, to the incredible region in which I live.