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 is greatest to believe and to hope well of the world, because he who does so, quits the world of experience and makes the world he lives in.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson

“So often our lives come down to a choice. Do I say this? Or do I say that? Or say nothing at all? Do I go this way, that way, or stay very still? Like a patchwork quilt, the choices we make stitch our lives into a pattern.”- Bishop Steven Charleston

1:15 pm, Monday, Feb. 12. Haines, AK. 33 degrees cloudy, almost calm. High tide. 6:15 am Tuesday Feb. 13, Margaret River Western Australia. 57 degrees, sunny windy conditions expected, and highs around 80. Fire weather warnings.

I am still a bit off from the travel home from Australia. Sydney to Juneau is a long way, but kind of a miracle, you know? It was easier going than returning. I think that’s because I was a day younger when I arrived there and a day older when I got home.

We had a great trip. The Oz family is good. We are better for seeing them, and also for transporting ourselves to a different location, another country, a place not interested in the cares and occupations of our little town, which can be grumpy after New Year’s. Already the light is returning. It wasn’t dark when I went to the pool this morning at 7. The water was warm and so calm compared to the ocean. This is where the expression “like a bathtub” must come from. A heated indoor pool. The sauna was busy this morning too. In Australia (or at least the small town we spent all but five days of our trip in) ice baths are the thing. The yoga and Pilates studios advertise them. So do the massage therapists. I guess it is universally true that if you are  cold you crave heat, and if you are hot you want to be cooler. On the beach, both the sun and the umbrella shade were welcome.

Some days the heat felt like an oven. But the nice kind, like a toaster about to pop up a slice of fruit bed. Like a flat white in a coffee shop, like “brilliant” and “darling” and “good on ya.” The breeze and ocean helped. So did the shade from the tall gum trees.

Highlights? Family. Always. Little and big moments.

Taking our granddaughter to the first day of Kindergarten (Kindy) with our son was big. In lots of ways. As her other grandmother Maree said, “I can’t wait to see what she will be like when she is a young woman”– in high school or even her twenties– “I hope I am still here,” she said.

Me too.

I believe that the key to aging well is not to think about time passing too much, but rather to choose to love as much of each day, each scene, each feeling even, as I can.( Well. Yes. But first I need to finish unpacking. How do I enjoy that? Living my best life is a work in progress– clearly.)