Good News

The little dog Lily who was missing out on Chilkoot Lake was found safe and sound with much joy all around, which I take as a good omen for the first week of the year. 

While the rest of the country suffers from arctic weather and storms, it's mild here in the actual arctic.  We have no snow and rain pants have replaced snow pants.Yesterday it was 37 degrees in Haines and 35 in Ocala where my mother-in-law lives, and at my dad's farm in the Hudson River valley it has been in the single digits and he is having, as he says "Alaska weather" and a storm that was "the worst he's ever seen" and he's 85, so that's something.

Then there are the storms in the Whitehouse that, in this connected world, are impossible to ignore.

I did find the pope's New Year's message to be so helpful, and since tomorrow is Epiphany, maybe reading about it in David Brooks column in the NY Times today is also a good sign. Brooks notes that the pope says the people "who have the most influence on society are actual normal folks, through their normal, everyday gestures being kind in public places, attentive to the elderly..." The pope called those people "artisans of the common good."

Think about that for a minute, and you will know it's true.

As the pope said (with Brooks quoting him) " 'small deeds express concretely love for city.'..without giving speeches, without publicity, but with a style of practical civic education for daily life."  In Haines we see it at every intersection with drivers waiting for minutes as each one tries to waive the other to turn first until someone finally agrees to nudge forward; opening the door at the library, picking up trash on the sidewalk, waiting in line at the Post Office. When I thought about it, I realized that I live in a very nice, and mostly civil place. 

People who didn't even know Lily looked for her.

And today at the school, the littlest children at the lunch tables were sweet to each other, sharing, and not shoving, and when it came time for recess helping each other find their hats and mittens.

And here's another good sign: There is a ferry to Juneau this afternoon that returns Sunday morning, so I can hop down to see my daughter and the little kids who didn't make it up for Christmas. ( On January 6th, that's what a wise woman would do, don't you think?) 

In the meantime, write down "artisan of the common good" and stick it on the fridge. I am. 


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