A fresh take

Jennifer Kingsley
November 3, 2016

It takes me some time to accept that summer is truly over. I tend to be slow with transitions of all kinds; this is a writer’s curse, because our work takes us, always, into the past. How clearly can I remember the feel of a poppy’s fat petals against my skin? The way they rustled to the touch and then curled back over my fingers. I recall the furry buds rising to the northern sun – all of it a surprise to me. A surprise born from the misunderstanding that high latitudes are landscapes of survival, not abundance. And when we travel north carrying that idea, we risk being overcome by a perception of scarcity.

We may seek the adjectives that have been written too many times – harsh, bleak, unforgiving – and overlook what’s right before our eyes – light, fresh, unexpected.

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Poppies in Arctic Iceland.