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.

It takes no special talent to see what’s ugly, numbing, depressing, and death-dealing in our world. But staying aware of what’s good, true, and beautiful demands that we open our eyes, minds, and hearts, and keep them open. –Parker Palmer

Spend time thinking (and writing) about delight everyday. – Ross Gay, author of The Book of Delights.

I have been down a kind of vole hole lately because of the news from near (Covid!) and far: Afghanistan, Haiti, California fires and governors fighting against masks in school. Climate reports. I’m a mess. Aren’t you?

My friend Beth says it’s bad for my health to hold this angst in my body and talked me into yoga class this morning at eight. I try to go once a week, and I already did Sunday’s class. So this was new for me, but a good idea. Considering. My dad usually sleeps until ten. So I had time. It’s via Zoom (since we have over 50 active cases of Covid in Haines, I am back in 2020). Instead of pedaling on the bike on the upstairs landing I rolled out my mat and turned on the computer and breathed. Mindfully. I tried not to hear Chip in the kitchen grinding the almonds and walnuts for his granola or the dogs barking at someone walking on the beach.

Our yoga teacher and neighbor Sarana says to notice the beauty, always look for the beauty and keep your heart in the places that you love. From my place on the mat, I listened to her and looked through the hall to the bedroom and out the window. Everything about it pleased me. The light blue quilt, the white walls, the fir trimmed window, the clouds, mountains, river. The clean oak floor. It is nice up here. I am not that messy after all.

It lasted a half hour before Papa Bob woke up.

But that’s okay. By then I had found beauty and my shoulders felt so good and were much softer. My heart was too. I was grateful for the time I’d spent stretching, for my father in the house. For my father. Talk about a luxury. Yoga and a lazy breakfast with dad on a rainy Wednesday morning?

So where else is the unexpected beauty today? My phone.

(Don’t groan.It’s true.)

Texts with pictures.

The first day of first grade in Juneau for my grandson. James is holding up a picture of what he wants to be when he grows up. A bird trainer. I did not know this. Stoli made her three kids waffles with raspberries from the yard to celebrate feeling better. Seeing them at their kitchen counter made me feel better too. Granddaughter Caroline (11) is isolating at home across town with her parents and sister Ivy, to be safe, and yesterday she emptied the book shelves, cleaned them, and then put all the books back (there are many) in a rainbow pattern and she baked a skillet-sized chicken pot-pie for dinner. True. Proof:

Her mother also sent me a photo from a trail run up Mt. Ripinsky with the neighbor’s husky. He needs exercise and she needs a companion to keep the bears away. My dogs can’t run as fast or as far as Sarah can. She hasn’t gotten another dog after her dear old bloodhound/Lab died last winter. This new pal is a good partner. “Agile and quick.” He checked in on her often.

And you should have seen the roasted garden carrots, zucchini and cherry tomatoes I cooked last night. They really were beautiful, and how happy Pearl looked when I tossed her toy duck across our room as I changed the bed. It’s time for the flannel sheets. I love flannel sheets. I love the smell of wood smoke too, in the fall, which is what it feels like today, and I am grateful for you, for reading this. I hope you are well, and without being too bossy, I think you should re-read what Parker Palmer and Ross Gay said. Not because the world isn’t a mess, but because it is. The only way to save it is to love it, and yourself.