sea otter

Georgette the Otter & Why I Am So Small


Last week an otter tried to climb onto my kayak. Sea otters look like ocean-going koala bears so I wasn’t afraid. but I did fear for my water bottle.

Here’s a glimpse of Georgette, the friendly Kodiak koala. (This IS a wild sea otter but I have never seen one so fearless.)

In a few days I fly out to fish camp for the summer. One of the signs of the seasonal migration is always this: (whacking off my hair.)

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In some ways it’s hard to leave. I’ve only been home (Kodiak) about 10 days from my last trip and a whirlwind winter that took me to Texas, Spokane, Mongolia, Denver, Seattle, Atlanta, Mexico, California, British Columbia, the Yukon, and points in between. And now one more move? (Yes.)

I’ll be sharing my summer at fishcamp with you. Some of you travel with me every year and I love your company! Some of you may be coming for the first time.

I don’t love everything at fishcamp, this remote island in the wilderness of Alaska. Just many things. Here are some reasons I’m still excited to go——even after 41 years:

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I love it here because I remember who I am. I am a creature among creatures, as needy and hungry, as on-the-prowl as they are. I wake up every morning looking for food. I watch the skies, watch the water. I pray for fish, watch my husband and sons go out upon the waters for fish, to feed us, to feed others.

We run about in boats; the same ocean that lifts and sinks the puffins lifts us.

We fly in bush planes; the same winds that buffet and sail the eagles sail us.

I am not important. Just one hungry soul among so many hungry bodies, subject to the same forces that rise and swirl and storm around us.

And still we are fed, all of us. The Creator’s hand opens and we eat, just enough for the day.

Are they glad? Do they know deep in their creaturely heart that it is God himself who feeds them?

“All creatures look to you to give them their food at the proper time,” the psalmist wrote. “When you give it to them, they gather it up . . . they are satisfied with good things.”

They are satisfied indeed. I eat my own food, and I feast on their feeding, more than satisfied.

For the next four months at fish camp, I will remember my true place in the universe: Small. Mostly unseen. But quietly gathering my food, feeding others, and growing in gratitude.

I hope you’ll come with me. I promise to send it on to you, that you too may be fed and filled.

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Where will you be feasting and gathering this summer?