The whisper first reached my ear while sitting on The Top of Life Bench, watching the Yukon River flow upstream as it caressed the bank of Dawson City. From this mountain face the sky is just beyond reach, the greens that cover the curves of the earth are shadowed by clouds resting beneath the sky’s blueness.

The mountains keep safe the valley, the river and the small town built for eyes and hands that reached for gold in a freezing climate during the Klondike Gold Rush. The river did not look so mighty from this height. It was calm and its drift was indistinguishable, even as a ferry crossed the currents to bring travelers to the city, from the city.

My right hand lifted and my fingertips traced the Yukon River to the distance, where it disappeared even deeper into the mountains and valley. To the left, beyond the city, mounds of dirt rested—a reminder of this city’s heritage. This is where they dig for gold even now.

Though my great uncle, my uncle, my mother and my brother were scattered behind me, my hearing did not take in their chatter. The chaotic world muted and came into contact with peace.

William Wordsworth claimed that the poetic mind was crafted by “spots of time” the artist experienced during their life. An experience that eclipsed others in their mind, but they can’t explain exactly what makes these more special. These experiences can be of the sublime but the sublime is not always “spots of time.”

The sun began to paint the clouds the lightest shade of pink as it sat just above the peak belonging to the furthest western mount.

“We’re leaving,” my brother said.


This is just an excerpt of a longer personal essay I’m working on. Let me know what you think.