Four days of sunshine during an Inland Northwest winter
(Written by a Navajo, born and raised in 320 day Southwest sunshine)
(Originally written 2009 1227)

The sun crawls over the horizon
Claws slowly forward, muddy earth sticking under its nails
Tangy window reflections on the opposite building
Fill and brighten with voluminous light
The sun clears the horizon & launches itself into this sky that I now call mine
My sky that has decided for the fourth day that it is blue and not shrouded pensive grey
For the fourth day I will go out and spend my day with the sun

The first day I thought it was a fluke
—full sunshine and sky unblemished by suppurative clouds
The morning had started out with a choking fog
I ran four miles, each step hitting pavement, Vitamin D, Vitamin D, Vitamin D
I periodically checked to see if the sun was indeed there, and not just a desert rat hallucination
Scanned the horizon for migrating or accumulating clouds — pessimist
Admired shadows with pressed edges dropped by skeleton trees and bushes
Stared, mesmerized by migrating water fowl organized in mammoth arrowheads
I felt a moment of panic when the exhaust from the physical plant obscured the light

The stars were clear and bright against blue-violet sky the second morning
I watched them fade as the sky bleached white
I concentrated on the eastern horizon, watched the band turn yellow, then gold, then orange
Then the widening grin of sun, first orange, then gold, then yellow, then white
I ran four miles again, but this time with my child, and this time a different direction
I allowed myself to enjoy the sun this time, to not worry about its departure
I admired the snow and ice melted by the sun’s heat
We took pictures, tourists relishing the sun

Yesterday, the third day of sunshine, I watched a patch of sky fringed by tree branch tips
Started with sparkling stars and stoic planets nestled in cobalt skies
Blanched white, then eventually settled back down to the characteristic sky blue
I ran six miles alone, and flirted with the sun the entire way
Winds kicked up and blew ice crystals onto my hair
The ice was not melted on this northwest side of the hill
I’m not sure if it amused or worried the sun to watch me slip and slide down the incline
Full sunlight on the south side glinted off the ice on my eyelashes and momentarily blinded me

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