Young doctor goes to Alaska to find himself, also to pay off his medical school debt. There’s a story in there somewhere.
In the case of Northern Exposure, the TV series back in the early ’90s, the young doc was Joel Fleischman, who clearly found himself out of his east-coast element and refused to conform to his new environment.
In another story, currently in progress, the doc is a young woman from an island off the coast of Maine, who finds Alaska somewhat her element, only more so. Bigger. Farther. Colder, and darker. She was too little back in the early ’90s to stay up with Mom and Dad and watch the TV show, and she has no idea what I’m talking about.
Darkness. Yes, that’s partly what it’s about this time of year, especially nearer to the Arctic Circle. Stay indoors under the fluorescent lights of the hospital and you’ll never know the difference, but your brain will burn out. Get out under the stars, under the moon, light a bonfire, a Swedish torch, make a snow lantern and email a photo of it to Sarah and Dick. Do something out in the cold and feel alive. After tonight Spring is on the way.
Light. That’s what it’s really about. Better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness. The menorah gets lit, the Advent candles too. Jesus is the light of the world, we remind ourselves at Christmas. God said, “Let there be light!” And there was light.
The earlier years of Northern Exposure gave us some of the best TV around, and no doubt the series aided Alaska’s tourism. Great character development, great story lines, great scenery, fun-loving Tlingit people.
Here in the video Chris, the part-time philosopher and full-time disc-jockey at KBHR Radio, hosts the turning of the season from darkness into light. It’s makeshift, it’s a fire warden’s nightmare, but it’s a party.
Plug in the Christmas tree lights and have an eggnog. Spring is on the way.
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