Santa's Blog

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

I could hardly wait to start this day.

At two o'clock in the morning I was suddenly awakened by an enormous cracking sound - like the earth opening up during a quake. I should have been afraid, but, instead, I was comforted and I snuggled into the feather mattress and pulled my down quilt up around my neck, smiled to myself and fell back into a deep slumber.

That shattering noise is a familiar friend to anyone in the North Pole. It is unforgettable - like the first time you hear a tea pot whistle or a bird sing. Like a glockenspiel tapping out the hours of the day, it marks the passage of time. It is the roar of the first day of summer when the winter glacier ice breaks away from the shore and the Bay opens up for birds, seal, walrus and whales.

I woke singing, unlatched the shutters and threw open the windows to welcome a crystal blue sky, an iridescent Bay and the deafening song of the Gyre Falcons flying north. It is finally summer, a time to air out the quilts, open the windows and plant the garden.

This birthing season has always been my favorite. Ryki, our pet Puffin, can stay out for days and play in the tall grass without a care chasing Arctic rabbit and other Puffin. The wild flowers and berries start to grow almost immediately once the temperature climbs into the moderate range of 60 degrees. You can see the plants grow, sometimes even hear them grow, as they explode with the energy of a nordic white night. Best of all, it is ice cone season, a favorite time for every elf and, I have to confess, a favorite time for me, too. Santa has always had a weak spot for cookies but I have never been able to say "No" to an ice cone. From the first crack of the ice to the Night of a Thousand Stars, everyday is Ice Cone Day.

To celebrate this midsummer I have developed a very special recipe for an ice cone that I am going to surprise the Tinker Elves with this very afternoon.

It seems so foolish that we can only have ice cones in the North Pole for the shortest of seasons every year. After all, we are surrounded by ice ten months at a time. But the ice is too solid during the cold season so it is impossible to scrape the chunks into granules to make an ice cone. How ironic.