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 wind must have shifted just enough last night to keep the whole town up. Pearl was pacing all night long. It sounds like thunder and feels like an earthquake to her. Naturally, she’s in deep dreamland now. On the way to Morning Muscles lawn chairs skittered down the icy road, and I almost ran into a big spruce tree that the wind had knocked down across Tower Road. 

Today is Epiphany, the day the kings arrived with gifts for baby Jesus. They followed the light of a star to get there, thus the double meaning of the word. In church on Sunday Mother Jan said the stars remind us that even a small light in the darkness can help us find our way and suggested we be little lights too. 

Emerson wrote that only darkness let’s us see the stars. Living in a cold dark place makes you think of these things– but it’s not that dark really, and eyes adjust quickly to the light that there is. Last night, soothing Pearl, I looked out and it was a kind of a fairy city on the river, the island looked like a town, maybe even the North Pole of movies– all blue and white and swirling.

My friends all agree they don’t make resolutions, since they never stick– but this week I heard one say she will not join in when people say bad things about someone, even it they are true, another says that she’s keeping here ice grippers on her boots all winter because she knows better than not to,  and one who is 86 says she will be happy to wake up each morning still breathing.