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.

“The opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Certainty is missing the point entirely. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns. Faith also means reaching deeply within, for the sense one was born with, the sense, for example, to go for a walk.”
― Anne Lamott

9 am Tuesday, Dec 12 on the Chilkat Beach. Gray. 37 degrees, south wind, buckets of rain. Gale warning. Flood watches and high wind warnings from Ketchikan to Skagway.

Today’s ferry is canceled. The border is closed. But at least there is snow up there, even if it means a real blizzard. All that, and the latest headline is that the arctic is warming much faster than the rest of the planet. No kidding? Still, we do have the good sense to go for a walk, as Anne Lamott says. It helps to channel my inner golden retriever.

Haines is starting to feel like an island out in the Aleutians. (Actually, the times I have been to Unalaska, the weather was better than this.)

The rocks look so comfortable, almost melting into the sand– don’t they?  I’m still thinking about that line I read yesterday concerning the “fierce sanity” of stone. It makes more sense now that I’m paying attention to stones, especially since we are made of minerals — of stardust–what’s in rocks is in us.

I spent today driving for a neighbor who can’t anymore. We ran errands, ducking in and out of places with our hoods up, rain pelting us, wiping the fog on the inside of the car. Blowing the fan for the heater/defroster. We went to the DMV first. It took ten minutes. We left with what we came for and had a nice chat with Teresa, who runs the office.

Next, it was the clinic, which was decorated for the holidays and cheery in spite of the heavy rain and dark skies. My companion said how friendly everyone was, especially considering most of the people they see in there  are not at their best, and may even be at their worst.

We did not find the brand of cottage cheese she wanted at Howser’s IGA but did have a pleasant moment with Shannon who was ringing the Salvation Army bell (and dropped some change in her pail.)

The post office wasn’t crowded. And miracle of miracles, there was mail, and  a package slip. The new toilet seat arrived.

People seem happier than usual. I know I am.  It is as if the good will barometer has risen in direct proportion to the storm force low. Maybe this is what people mean when they say Haines comes together when there is a problem– Could it be that the weather is so frightful that it is making us delightful? (And really, is there a better alternative?)