Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Shine on Haines


January 24, 2019

Haines, Alaska is the bees knees. In lieu of recent perspectives, I wanted to share mine, from a set of newbie eyes. I haven’t been in the thick of the recent conversations held within our tight-knit community, but I have seen something that most overlook because it’s so simplistic: existence. Spoiler alert, this is what makes us, us.

I’ve seen you, just as you’ve seen me - transferring a friendly acknowledgement.

When we arrived in this jewel of a town, the sum of what I gathered is that “we exist.” We’re waved at as if we’re known; we’re met with eye contact and a friendly awareness; we’re valued here just because we’re here. Maybe you offer that acknowledgment of another’s existence because you have to be present in Alaska, as one can’t be lost in the mind or on the phone (if you get cell service).You have to be awake, and in turn, you gift another your presence saying, “I see you and acknowledge that you exist.” Go anywhere else in the lower 48 and you won’t get that type of community service unless it’s hyped up on speculation and gossip. But here, greeting another with a wave or a nod gives credence to a gem of a community.

So, thank you. You might not have even been aware of what you innately offer, but it’s brighter than gold.

Shine on!

Vanessa Wishstar


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