I Love This Place
Poet Maggie Smith writes that "the tall summer field is a keeper of secrets" in her poem Rasp, that arrived in my poem-a-day inbox yesterday. I haven't meant to keep secrets from you- but I had to leave home suddenly on the 4th of July and was too rattled by my fourth ride in a medevac plane (one as patient, three as friend or family member) to think that a laptop would have been a good thing to pack. And maybe it wouldn't have been, as there are times to be present for people I love, in the fullest sense, and leave my writer-self at home.
My neighbor (and dear friend) fell and broke her hip. She's 85 and had just left the Friends of the Library book sale, so at least she brought some reading material with her. It was raining and gray, and socked in right down to the top of Pyramid Island when we flew over our neighborhood in the Guardian Air plane- awfully low, it seemed. But the Sitka-based pilot ( who announced right away that his wife was a Haines "girl" --and of course we know and like her) said they typically stay below the clouds. He zoomed us there in just 22 minutes, safe and sound.
In the plane I already felt better about the whole situation, thanks to Chuck, Thom, CJ, and Patty from the Haines volunteer ambulance crew. The clinic nurses, Amber and Becky, were so caring and kind as well. I had just seen Amber with her family at the park where the watermelon, pies, and burger and brat picnic was just beginning ( pouring rain be damned) yet none of the helpers so much as hinted that there was any place they'd rather be than with us right then.
Neither did the ambulance crew in Juneau who met the flight and shuttled us to the hospital. The driver told me he was from up north, and that Southeast is the best part of the state. He said I was lucky to have lived here so long. The great thing about being in Juneau, is that I have a big family there as well -- two of my daughters and two grandchildren live on the same street and within walking distance to the hospital, and there is a cheerful pack of Juneau in-laws, and my son is fishing there right now, and we were able to watch him and the seiners work at Amalga Harbor one morning. This new (ish) yours-mine-and ours family gathered for evening meals and came and went all hours of the day. The best news is that my neighbor is on the mend, now too.
My daughter has a postcard pinned on her Juneau kitchen's bulletin board. "I love this place" it says, below a simple a sketch of mountains and trees and water.