That was quite the snow fall and blow last night. The good news is we are all in this together. Much of the country will be feeling Alaskan this week as we shovel snow, make changes in plans, and soup from whatever we can find in the pantry, freezer, and fridge for dinner.
“You can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”
― Anne Lamott
I have been thinking seriously about getting a talking parrot, to remind me not to shout out loud what I am thinking when I'm alone in the house and listening to the news on the radio, or reading the paper. It may be quite shocking what that good bird would repeat for my grandchildren to hear, in my voice.
This morning we walked with a whole pack of dogs-- it's pretty funny how my friend and I are both down to one dog, but we babysit others. This week we have six large dogs between us. We've been avoiding the flesh freezing north wind blasting down the Chilkat River beaches by looping up on the protected woodland trail, and then walking the exposed shore with the wind at our backs. Yesterday when we reached the south end, some of the dogs ran up toward the road, and we hollered to stop them, and realized we only had five.
It's a lot colder here than when I left two weeks ago, and hard to believe that in North Carolina it was 80. In Florida that's expected, but it was actually a little cooler there. My talks at "The Gathering" in Raleigh went well, or at least as well as a keynote speaker who has lost her voice can expect.
The bed is changed, the chickens are fed and watered, the plants are too, and I am all packed, the Blessed Virgin Mary medal is around my neck, and I am just about ready to catch the plane to Juneau on my way down south. (Really down south, not just Alaska-speak for every place below Ketchikan.)I will be in Greensboro, NC reading from Find the Good at Scuppernong Books Thursday night, and at "The Gathering" women's spiritual retreat in Raleigh at St. Michael's Episcopal Church Friday-Sunday.
The last page of the book that last year's first graders wrote on the life of civil rights leader Elizabeth Peratrovich says, "Thank you Elizabeth!"
"There is no less holiness at this time-- as you are reading this-- than there was on the day the Red Sea parted."- Annie Dillard
I knew a family who came to Haines from down south-- real south, I think it was Missouri, or maybe Arkansas-- who celebrated Valentine's Day with a Valentine Tree. The branches were bare and draped in twinkling white lights and hung with paper hearts. They all camped out in their living room under big south facing windows on February 14 to celebrate the light of spring. February sunshine, especially here where winters are so dark-- is holy, and loved-- even more so by people who are used to much more light.
Brian Doyle, whose work I'm a big fan of, wrote about meeting Bishop Desmond Tutu in Portland back in 2015, and shared this impromptu riff Tutu gave on faith, "The world will say you are silly! Be proud of that!" Doyle said he didn't write it all down, as he was caught by surprise when the Bishop suddenly began an impromptu "not sermon", but this is what Tutu said, to the best of Doyle's recollection- a paraphrase- but one he believed was worth repeating, and I do too-- now more than ever:
Since you've asked what my schedule is:
I will be giving a reading and answering questions (weather permitting as I'm flying from Haines) tomorrow, Friday Feb. 10 at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center in Juneau at 6:30 and again at 8:00. There's an interview on KTOO at 3:30, too.