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.

Yesterday my daughter Sarah said I really have to check in, as you are worried something may be wrong. Everything is fine. My daughter  Stoli is still up in Anchorage, and that baby is still growing inside of her, so it has been a very big three weeks, development wise. (Her due date is Sept. 19.)  Stoli’s doing great, her husband is a saint and the little one to-be is fine by all accounts. She has less than four more weeks to be full term, and so is pretty much out of the woods.  It’s hard being away from Lani and home, so for them, the days– weeks (!)  have been slow. For me, mornings come so fast I feel like I just put my head on the pillow when it’s time to wake up.   I am trying to finish that book, so all my desk time has been for that and is only when the baby is sleeping. ( I do not know how the mommy bloggers do it. Grandma blogging is so much easier. When there is not a sleepover, that is.) Sarah also said something which reminded me of poet Mary Oliver when I told her part of the reason I haven’t checked in is that I didn’t have time to think, much less write anything worth reading– and I don’t have a clue what’s going on in town except that yesterday was the first day of school — I even missed a visiting author’s talk and a gala musical event at the Chilkat Center– and I was 15 minutes late for church, which only lasts about an hour. I’ve been to yoga twice in three weeks. All I have time for are stories and baby meals, and laundry and diapers and playing outside and naps and starting all over again.  Sarah, who does this all day with two ( 3 and 1)  and who is very wise and organized, said, “Mom, pretend it’s Facebook. You don’t have to write a bestseller. Just tell them everything is fine.” Mary Oliver advises all of us to tell what astonishes us– in her poem “Praying” (something I’ve been doing a lot lately) she writes: “just pay attention/ then patch a few words together/and don’t try to make them elaborate/ this isn’t a contest/ but the doorway into thanks.”  Oh, thank you very much for caring. Know that I am astonished by this child living in my house, from her curls to the way she wakes each day  jumping in the crib with a,  “Mimi, Up!” –and the constant caring she requires of me. I am astonished by the good she finds in me every single minute of the day– and that I have not run out of it.  It’s as if  the love and energy to maintain this keeps pumping from a reserve well in the bottom of my heart. So, thank you for reading what I write and for your prayers  and good thoughts. Thanks for all of it. Rest assured that everything is more than fine and Sarah is making sure that  I will do better at checking in.