When I was a child my mother kept an Aloe Vera plant on the table near the kitchen window. Amazingly, that heat loving desert species thrived on the thin and infrequent sunlight of northern Alaska. I would sit at the kitchen table staring out at snow drifts under street lights or finishing an after school snack and absently stroke the fleshy green spears with their thorn laced edges. I'd marvel at the new red shoots emerging from the sandy soil. A few leaves were always cut and puckered at their tips, where my mother would snip a bit of the plant to put on our cuts or burns, instant relief, a little green band-aide. Maybe that plant survived in that improbable environment simply because it was needed, a tiny desert oasis in a frozen realm.