I live and write on Lingít Aaní, and gratefully acknowledge the past, present and future caretakers of this beautiful place, the Jilkaat Kwaan and Jilkoot Kwaan.

Gratitude is the first verse of my hymn. I’m insisting on that, no matter what comes next.

The news of a young friend’s death coincides with moving a forty year-old father of three into a hospice room. 

His mother tells me she still believes in God, more than ever, but she and He will have a “good talk” when they meet face to face. 

It is Spring again.

There’s a new baby. 

Old friends celebrate big birthdays. 

(Mercy, always Mercy is the refrain) 

Rain and sun. Daffodils and skunk cabbage. Hooligans. Crying gulls and roaring sea lions.

A whale!

(There must be a verse for Love)  

Community celebrations, community arguments, crowded meetings, and solitary prayers.

(And one for Forgiveness)

Monday dawns with earthquakes. Seriously strong.

(What about a bass drum?)

The ground shook. We braced ourselves in the bed. This is lasting a long time, you said. Should we run? I asked. Then it  stopped, and were wide awake.

 6.3 you read on the iPad. That would have leveled a village in Italy. 

Our home. Our town. Our neighbors, are all unscathed.

( Hear that gratitude descant?)  

What should we do now?

Go for a ride.

Wear a helmet, and goggles if you need them.

Look both ways.

 Buckle Joy into her car seat.

Sing with me, she says. Please sing a new song. 

(Joyful hymns to thee we raise)