Deep gray skies and snow followed wind. The snow, in fact feels like a silence, a reprieve. I think again, as I did a year ago, about purgatory; limbo; the bardo. At least half a dozen world religions have periods of in-between, of waiting, after death. Beliefs differ as to what happens in these periods, be it purification, judgement, transcendence, or hallucination. Waiting, however, is the common element and here we are, running out a kind of global clock. We wait for the universe to expand through what we call January, and what we call 2022 in the Gregorian Calendar. Here in Alaska, that is the deep, dark winter. We wait for scientists to finish their studies and tell us what to do. We wait as policy-makers and businesses figure out which needs are possible to fulfill. We tell our frustrated and sad children that there was a time before this one and there will be a time after this and it will look and feel different that it does right now. But today, from our windows and streets, we see that the sky is dropping a new layer of fresh, white, snow over what we’ve made dirty.  

Jessica Cherry, PhD, is a scientist, writer, and commercial airplane pilot living in Anchorage and Fairbanks. 

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