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.

So, a few days ago while walking our dogs on the beach, they ran into a mucky pond and chased a pair of mallards who have arrived earlier it seems than ever, like spring has. It’s a good-new bad-news season. (Yes, no snow! Oh no! Why is it so mild?) We women friends decided that we should, as good citizens of the world, and this beach, give the ducks a wide berth, and maybe make a sign to let other dog walkers know there could be a mallard nursery here soon. A minute later, down along the shore, an eagle dove out of nowhere and grabbed a duck bobbing in waves. Another eagle hooked it too, and they tore the duck in half and flew off with the remains. You can imagine the distress.

 I tried to tell you about it earlier this morning, prior to today’s walk, but gave up  after I got all wrapped up in climate change and nature taking her course and what that even means now–  and got my brain so far off track I was totally lost. (Trust me, you should be very grateful not to have to read it.) I am better at small pictures than big ones. When I told my husband, he said, sometimes a duck is just a duck. “And besides eagles are rarer than ducks, and a hungry eagle should eat a duck.” 

Turns out that our ducks– the ones the dogs ran off, had not contributed to the eagle breakfast after all. It was another duck. So it’s a good thing I didn’t use it as some sort of symbol of something or other. This morning, both mallards were back on the muddy little pond, more settled than ever. They didn’t fly off when the dogs ran at them. The dogs were more interested in a tennis ball. 

Our breakfast was the casualty today. I burned the oatmeal while I was writing the story about the wrong duck that I threw out anyway. While my husband and I were discussing the situation ( Me:  I think it’s okay. He: The pan is black ) Chip suggested that I pay more attention to what’s on the stove and less to big things like climate change and natural selection. “At least concentrate on what you can actually do. You are not a scientist, you are writer.” Which made me feel better. Plus, he pointed out, Find the Good is the title of my new book. “Find some good, Heath.” So here’s what I did:  I looked hard for and picked up some beach trash, and I put some easily found hearts on a rock by the trail. 

(It was also very good to learn there are more hearts than litter on the beach.)