As we coasted along the tracks of the Alaska Railroad on a sleepy August afternoon, I stood between cars and stared down the length of the train.

Almost like an unexpected summer snowfall, there was a rush of white puffs past the portal, and extending continuously across the horizon, almost thicker than the air itself.

The sun shone warmly as it backlit each puffball to a warm glow. It was difficult to tell if we were moving against the flowery shower, or if the low, billowy clouds had been blowing a like a gusty breath across our motionless train.

Gently rocked side to side, we were cradled snugly into the soft bosom of the seats as if we were babes rejuvinated in a mother's arms.

Snug as a bug, and surrounded by smiles, my thoughts were lost to the blanketing hum of laughter.

The purple hue of fireweed, from which the ghostly snowflakes were born, tinted the creeksides and hilltops.

The thin, white, icy lace of termination dust was etched below by the fireweed's brilliant outline from mountain to mountain.

A flurry of glowing puffs, cool air, a sun sinking low, close friends pressed closer, a maternal rock-rock, a sea of purple, and an ocean of laughter......

All this is a memory anchored deep in my mind's eye. It fills my heart and sends me longing to return.