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.

From Jeanette Winterson: “So light a candle to the dead. And light a candle to miracles, however unlikely, and pray that you recognize yours. And light a candle to the living; the world of friendship and family that means so much. And light a candle to the future; that it may happen and not be swallowed up by darkness. And light a candle to love. Lucky Love.”

(This is from my current favorite morning read: Jeanette Winterson’s Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for  12 Days. Amy at The Bookstore recommended it. )

The snow has turned to rain, but everything is bright around here. JJ and Bryan and Emilia and Henry arrived on yesterday’s ferry so some of  Haines the kids were all over (the ones that aren’t sick, they will be better soon, their mom says) and they started baking and I watched the littles. Bryan’s grandparents were from Italy ( or maybe great-grands? I am not sure. As I say, it was busy. He was also playing an Italian Christmas podcast while he worked).  CC ( almost 14) put on pop Spotify Christmas tunes and they all discussed Taylor Swift’s Era Tour and what if there were tickets still, in Madrid? Meanwhile, Bryan made special cookies that involved a waffle-type iron (he brought it with him) and then a batch of Russian scones. He didn’t know why they are called that and are Italian. ( They have a yeast dough and nuts inside and are really good.) JJ whipped up some fudge. A lot of powdered sugar was involved.

Where were the littlest children you may ask? Emilia ( 3 going on 4) colored at the counter for a bit and then found the blocks. I played with Henry ( 2 going on 3)  on the floor in the living room with the cars and Santas. Henry liked un-decorating the tree – he hoards Santas. He found all of them. By  four, we were all a little tired (what with the ferry ride and all the excitement.)  I gave up, poured a glass of wine ( the sun never even rose above the yard arm…) and turned on a Christmas cartoon, The Snowy Day  based on the book by Ezra Jack Keats about the little boy in the red snowsuit out in a snowy city. I loved it. Henry and Emilia fell asleep.

I will walk with Beth when the sun comes up, but right now, in this close and holy silence, I lit a candle, up on top of the piano where everything that is fragile or lost or can burn the house the down, has migrated to.

For love. For recognizing the miracles in my life. Past and present. My parents and grandparents, Bryan’s Italian relatives whose cookies we are sharing in Alaska now. Children and grandchildren. Good dogs here and gone. But especially  for the future, that it won’t be “swallowed in darkness.” I’m  trusting in this lucky love.