I wake up several times before the alarm goes off, hearing the wind bellowing past the house. The alarm clock is relatively new, one of those that lights up gradually to simulate sunrise. There is an audio alarm, too, but the light is usually enough to wake me up. I roll out of bed and shut off the clock as I head for the kitchen/dining area.
After breakfast and brushing my teeth, it’s time to get dressed. I strip out of my pajamas and consider my options. I need something warm; in the last week the average temperature has dropped quite a bit. I finally settle on wool socks, jeans, long-sleeve shirt, and fleece vest. Next, I bundle up for the walk to the school: Winter coat, knit hat, face mask, gloves, rain pants, hiking boots. The arctic entry of the house is noticeably colder than the main areas. I open the door and step into another world.
Wind hits me first, tugging at my clothes. I’m glad that I wore the rain pants. It’s not wet, but they act as a windbreak and keep my legs warm. Between the wind and the cold, I feel tears starting to form in my eyes. I should bow my head, but I can’t: The scenery is too amazing.
The full moon shines over the tundra, bright enough to block out the stars. The moonlight is so bright, I can actually see the colors of the buildings I pass by as I walk to the school. Yesterday, I took a picture with my phone and actually had lens flare. I can’t help but look all around as I walk, marveling at this new experience.
Fortunately, I reach the school before I get too cold. I strip off gloves and mask as I tramp down the hall to my room, shaking my head over the fact that it’s only October. This is going to be a heck of a year.