Low Season, High Spirits

Homer Spit Boat Junkyard

Homer Marina

Shore Watching

Fisherman Boots

I love to travel in low season. Granted that not much is happening after the masses of tourists dwindle to a trickle in any part of the world, but that is precisely what I find so enchanting about going places. It is a way of finding plenty in the absence of rather than in the abundance of. And Homer, Alaska with its pristine environment, was such a place in mid-September. Almost barren of tourists and wanderers, the majority of local businesses closed for the season, and the first salvos of the inevitable Alaskan winter beginning to appear, the setting was nearly perfect for the advent of a much-needed, mind-clearing brew. Long, bundled-up walks by the rocky beach during the early morning hours, beautiful sunrises over the glaciers in Kachemak Bay State Park mountain range, and long, sumptuous seafood dinners washed down with California wines under the dark-blue skies of Cook Inlet, were the perfect antidote for this city dweller. Think of it as food for the soul, a reset for lives too occupied with too many “silly little nothings.” And the silence, whith only an occasional interruption by the high-pitched call of a passing seagull, or the rhythmic drumroll of the crashing waves. I’m not accustomed to hearing those sounds these days, and yet, their unpretentious melodies brought back memories of places far away, of lives already lived, and of times when dreams and the imagination were as unencumbered as the wind flowing down Kachemak Bay on a September morning. There, along those cold and desolate nordic rocks and the majestic ocean keeping guard over sleeping glaciers, I was reacquainted with someone I once knew, so very long ago. I guess sometimes it does take a distance of over 4,000 miles to arrange such a meeting with those we once knew.




Everyone has a morning ritual, but lingering by a river at daybreak has to be near the top.
Everyone has a morning ritual, but lingering by a river at daybreak with a cup of coffee has to be near the top.

I am here today to defend the proposition that there is no better part of the day than the early morning hours of a day.  That’s right, I am taking a stand.  And yes, this is a subject that is much ignored by most folks, but in the name of the pursuit of happiness, I feel that it is my duty to openly declare that those fleeting hours when the sun begins to appear over the horizon are about as close to heaven as we will get on this earth.  They are poetry incarnate, manifesting a choreographed rhythm replete with rituals, lights, beginnings, and discovery.  When we wake up (and no matter our speed of movement), we tend to do the same things every day, even if during the rest of the day we proudly profess not to be the victims of routine.  It is those little things we do without fail that make morning so special.  Eyes opening with the first light, setting those same eyes on a loved one, laboring in the kitchen, and going through our mental checklist for the day.  It is busy time, but busy with new beginnings and the hope that today will be better than yesterday.  So there you have it: I’m officially issuing the “morning is best” edict, so we all better start enjoying them a little bit more.  Still skeptical? Just ask the fella sitting at that bench.