I went to wine country yesterday to savor the beauty of the lush landscapes cradling the many vineyards of northern California and its mild climate. I was sitting in the sun with a glass of wine and started to dream about the glaciers in Alaska. It was relaxing and soothing. I still see the glaciers in my mind like it was just yesterday when I was up north to find peace for myself and I love to read the part in “To Drink the Wild Air” where I can re-live my experiences with pictures and sounds.
Its shape and blue-white color was of incomprehensible size and beauty, and only the privileged bald eagles with their enormous wings were able to land on the remote heights of the peaks, on top of the world between raw ice and the Universe. This mountain of ice seemed to soar endlessly into the air before my eyes, marrying the colors of the white-tipped crystals with the most beautiful and intense marine blue of this mighty sky, and continuing into the distance until it was stopped by the horizon. Each huge slab of ice breaking off the glacier created a rolling, crashing tidal wave that rocked any boat passing the glacier shore even within the safe distance of a quarter mile; and the bigger the piece of falling ice, the bigger the wave.
It was absolutely stunning to watch nature at work like this. There was no silence in the presence of a glacier. The air was filled with sounds, sounds I had never heard before, quickly turning my initial awe into a deep reverence for nature while I listened to the symphony of the glacier’s orchestra playing its own creation of a masterpiece. Moving ice plates pushing against each other with raw force caused loud crackling noises interlaced with screeches and squeaks. The incredibly loud plop when one of the huge pieces slid gracefully into the water was followed seconds later by an immense echo that reverberated many times within the glacier’s core, the sound bouncing off the rocks on which the glacier had settled with the deafening volume of a thunderstorm. The glacier spoke to me and reflected, in its perfection, the sound of my own thoughts with the echo of many!