First Arctic Sun
I weathered this interior Alaska white spruce carving over about 14 years to get the grey patina that depicts a lone polar bear basking in the first faint rays of the arctic spring’s sunshine. I carved this 6.5’ sculpture in Fairbanks in 2001 alongside another: Polar Bear Sniffing at the Wind.
It’s a reminder of the fresh outlook spring carries with it and the fragile future this welcome sunshine brings to a warming arctic.
With all the waning light of noonday dawn,
The day will end before its yet begun,
And dark and broad the wind will range and howl,
Yet never wrest the sleep from bear below.
Her drift worn tracks no longer share their lore,
Faint breaths now rise but soon will glaze the floor,
And deep in heavy slumber, she is borne,
To places, only yesterdays have been.
Through dreamlike icy barrens all alone,
She paces winter’s heartbeats with her own,
And when the season’s song is fully sung,
She’ll rise to greet the year’s First Arctic Sun.