Slow Spring

Kelsey Breseman
2 min readMay 30, 2024

Spring is slow in coming to Lisianski Inlet this year. The purple violets have at last been joined by yellow, buttercups turning shining faces to the sky. The strawberry blooms appear in the scrubby moss by the beach. The lupine, usually in bloom by this time, is still in bud.

Slowly, we are watching the snow line on the mountains grow less distinct. The herring are late to arrive, but now they are swirling and jumping in Pelican harbor, making rainwater ripples even when the sky is clear.

Big fish follow the small ones. None of the fisherman who talk along Pelican's boardwalk have caught a salmon yet, and they don't expect the commercial season to open until July, but the seals and sea lions are hunting in the cove.

One of the reasons we come to Sunnyside in May is because the biting bugs aren't awake yet. Instead, you see the wildlife: humpback whales and orcas in the inlet, a land otter on the beach. Sea otters appear in their singles, but out in the kelp you can find them rafted up with their babies on their bellies. Others cavort in couples off the sand spit.

There is a pair of geese that comes every day to the freshwater pond that spills to the beach from our spring. They splash down honking by the tender green goosetongue plants. Always, one stands guard while the other grazes: one long neck raised high, one curved down to the ground.

Robert has flown home. He and I hadn't spent a day apart since January, but he has to go back to work in London, and I have to stay stateside until my UK visa comes through: a little more than a month, we expect.

We've done distance before. It wasn't until late March that our relationship counted more days in the same country than apart. But I can't make calls from here. By the time I see him again in person, our little fetus will have doubled in size to about a foot, and will be developing the ability to hear.

As May passes into June, Alaskan days grow bright and endless. The rain is daily, but maybe not all day; yesterday's sunshine was warm.

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