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.

We are awfully lucky to be here, and by “we” I mean every living thing.- Bill Bryson

8:10 am, east side of Tenakee Springs, cloudy, light westerly, low tide. 38 degrees.

It is weird to walk without a dog, but nice to be out early in a sleepy little (very little) rural seaside town, with half the household I’m staying with still in bed. Yesterday was long and chaotic. Today should be easier.  The exposed shelf and beach is full of shells and rocks and seaweed, and everywhere is the sound of water running. Streams gush off the hillside into the sea.

It’s covered mussels and clams and barnacles– crunchy and slick.

The deer hunters were out at dawn in skiffs heading across or down the inlet. The sounds this early– along with all that running water– are the occasional four-wheeler putt-ing along the trail, gulls, geese, I saw one duck and he followed me, an eagle whistling. Someone using power tools, and then a float plane landed. ( Boats, ferries and float planes are the only way in and out.There are no roads, just a trail, grandly named Tenakee Avenue –East and West, divided by the ferry dock in the middle– that is for walking, bikes and “wheelers.” The speed limit is 10mph and pedestrians have the right-of-way.)

I’m writing to you from the library steps. It’s not open now but the internet works.  My friend Teresa and I came out this direction ( West Tenakee Ave.) for a long walk, since the weather remained lovely all day and that can change so fast. We put chores aside for the few daylight hours.  I just heard a sea lion exhale. Right in front of the library.

Really, we – me, the sea lion, Teresa, and you too– are all so lucky to be here. And by “here”, I mean in this world, right now.