Today begins sunny bright but by noon clouds move in and mute the sky, the river, everything. I follow snow-go tracks out onto the Yukon to the nearest rise. The view is nice, with open water standing between the village and my vantage.
Willow shoots anchor the rise for the time being but they cling to a transientory existence. A gravel bar exists solely at the whim of its host; it will migrate at the river’s command or disappear forever below the waves. A dense thicket tracks the central axis of the rise but thins near the perimeter. I weave through the sparse outer willows and sink to my knees into the snow. I am invincible in my high topped Sorel boots and heavy quilted snow pants.
I skirt the rise and there it is – my island. Trees rooted there long ago and hold the island fortress against the shifting power of the Yukon. It looks so permanent, untouchable, but only the river decides the fate of the land in this place. See the trees along the bank, fallen by erosion?