Peace Like a Walk on the River

This morning at 6:30 after my three choir boys said goodbye, Jerusa, Godfrey and Trevor joined the rest of the African Children's Choir on the sidewalk in front of the Presbyterian Church and sang an a cappella benediction in what sounded, in that dusky dawn hour in the stillness just above the boat harbor and below Main Street, like eight part harmony, a tune both ancient and modern and familiar -- "The Lord bless you and keep you and grant you peace" -- I drove home teary.  Part of it is the season. Autumn always makes me feel homesick, even when I'm home, and part of it is the relief that Chip is healing, and part of it is that the near miss is a reminder that the life we love won't last forever, and part of it is that I am tired, as the bears on the river flats at night make Pearl edgy and she whines and paces around our bedroom instead of sleeping. Also, I was so grateful to have heard that children's blessing just then, when I needed it, that it helped me believe a little more in things I sometimes doubt. Afterwards, I walked Pearl. We could see  four or five bears way out in the middle of the flats, dark specks really,  but hopefully they were walking back across to the other side for a long day's nap. It was easy to see where they'd been though.

I used the bears as an excuse to talk to myself. (Although I had bear spray in my pocket.) It helps to vent sometimes out here, all alone, peaceful music aside-- I was wrapping my head around the news that assemblyman George Campbell (he who wanted to make this same beach an ATV park ) went after the most popular institution in Haines, the library, again at a meeting last night. So how do I respond, as the library board president, in a positive way, about my concerns for the community my grandchildren call home? This is what makes Haines a sort of spiritual boot camp. If the bears can live with me in harmony, surely I can live with George? Plus, it's partially my fault, since I like him and voted for him. So, this election season I will pay more attention to the questions and answers than to the personalities, and I will vote for leaders who value the community institutions and non-profits I do and whose plan for economic development includes everything from the pre-school and Main Street improvements to shopping locally and supporting the fishing fleet, for starters. I will have faith knowing that I'm not the only one who is grateful every day  to live in a community where I hear children singing, see bear tracks on the beach, and where the library is the nicest, most well-used building in town. Oh-- and one more thing--  where I can go to an opening at the museum tomorrow night from 5-7 for Alexandra Feit's paintings!

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