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.

“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is -Thank You- it will be enough.” Meister Eckhart

Monday December 11, 10 am.  37 degrees but feels colder, raining. South winds to 40 mph. High tide. Winter Storm Warning until tomorrow at 6 am for wind, rain and heavy snow just north and west of us. From 6-mile up the river. ( The airport is at 4-mile.) All that snow, so close but just out of sight.  We will have 6 hours and 17 minutes of daylight today.

The dogs were very happy to be out and seemed oblivious to our discomfort. We headed into the woods to be out of the wind, but had to yell for them, and since that seemed futile, we whistled. They found us, but it may have more to do with their other senses than our lame noise making.

We walked single file on the narrow trail and thanks to the thunder of the surf, the rain and having our hoods up with hats underneath them, we had to stop every time we talked or listened. It was pretty funny. We looped a few times to complete an hour — taking the trail into the wind, and letting the gales push us down the beach, rather than brave the longer coastal exposure. I told Beth about my morning reading. John O’Donohue wrote that while the human body is a marvel, what’s even more impressive is the invisible force that makes us who we are. He put it this way: no surgeon has ever found a canyon in the brain filled with thoughts.

The Presbyterians have a hand bell choir  that is more like an ad-hoc committee, since it’s not a regular thing but gathers for special occasions, and they were short a ringer for the Holly Jolly Follies this weekend. (Sunday at 4pm in the Chilkat Center. The Sing-A-Long Messiah is at 3-5 pm Saturday there too, and the Friends of the Library are selling cookies by the pound from 1-3 Saturday at the library. I have a lot going on.)

I had told Holly (no relation to the Jolly Follies) that I used to play in a handbell choir at our church when I was a child and I had PTSD from it. I love the sound of the bells, but am terrified of hitting the wrong note. She thought I was joking. She texted asking me to fill in. They were desperate. I said it had been a long time… she said, “We will get you all caught up!” So yesterday I went to rehearsal, found a pair of gloves, was pointed to my place at the soft padded table, and looked at my bells.  Two? Both hands? One was a low A and the other was the big B flat. The same bell I played as a kid. Really. It looked friendly enough. Is this a cosmic do-over? Eckhart observed that the Holy Spirit was born of laughter. God told a joke…

It was actually kind of fun now that I’m a grown up. Turns out I am not nearly so afraid of making mistakes. (Or at least not little ones). When I didn’t worry about the wrong notes, I hit all the right ones. Go figure.

In this morning’s reading, John O’Donohue also quoted a friend who suffers from anxiety. She has a special rock she holds when she feels an attack coming on, and told him that  “There is a fierce sanity in stone.”  Henry Moore said his sculptures were inside the stone.

Anyway, as we walked (and stood) we  talked about a friend who died last year, and how she left behind many books for us with notes in them, and agreed we need to make more notes in ours. Then we started up again, shouted stuff the other one didn’t hear, laughed, and stopped and turned toward each other. Beth noticed that I always turned to the left, and had me spin around to the right instead. To mix it up. Change a habit I didn’t know I had.  When we finished, we agreed it was a better day because we had walked, even though we were soaked.

You never regret a walk,

Or a run, when I used to run,

Or a yoga class.

Nope, you never regret getting out.

 Well, almost.

Sometimes you do regret getting in a boat.

It just started to snow. I hope it sticks.