Today: Katya Gordon, author, North House Folk School instructor, and business owner. Katya and her husband, Mark, run a charter sailing business, Amicus Adventure Sailing. They also lead what they call “climate engagement through sail,” starting Sea Change Expeditions in 2014.


I am reading what teenagers (i.e. my daughters) are reading, and my most recent recommendation is “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas. Moving, informative, a gripping read. I am always on the lookout for new sources — new, (for me) thoughtful viewpoints on old issues. I want to hear about abortion from a pro-lifer (“Unplanned”), or climate change from an evangelical Christian (“Caring for Creation”). I want to understand where people not like me are coming from. I listen to different radio stations for the same reason.


I follow meteorologists such as Paul Douglas and climatologists such as Kenny Blumenfeld. We are so lucky to have such personable and knowledgeable weather experts in our own state! No one I know in my hometown in Pennsylvania has any idea what climate change is doing in his or her particular neck of the woods. People in Minnesota have lived in, observed, and cared about weather for a long time. Now, because of those 1800s observers, we have long-term records that show long-term trends. We are warming here in Minnesota and these guys know how to tell us about it. Kenny’s blog is hilarious; I highly recommend it.


Mark and I, who are heading out onto Lake Superior on our 40-foot sailboat in less than two months with Sea Change Expeditions, are closely watching the ice on Lake Superior. As of this writing it is still fast ice by our home in Two Harbors, but big cracks are developing, waterfalls are pouring onto the ice, and the sun is beating down most days. This gives us hope that the ice’s days are severely numbered. It is special to see winter ice on the open lake along the North Shore; this is the most solid it has been since we moved here in 2006. But now, we are eager for open water.


One thing recently made possible by the internet are Zoom calls — meetings that take place via our screens all around the world. I take part in several evening meetings every week with volunteers like me who are doing their darndest to build a political world for carbon fee and dividend legislation. Believe it or not, I find these calls energizing and uplifting, as they keep us focused on solutions. And then, I look out the window at the ultimate prize to be won: our wondrous Earth. I stop “saving” and begin “savoring”: the drip-drip of snow off our roof, the new sound of birds chirping, the wind roaring in the trees.


By day I am communicating with others — teachers, administrators, public officials and students — around Lake Superior. Planning stops along the way for our May sailing voyage. By night, I am listening to my teenage daughters talk about track practice on muddy gravel roads. The high school’s outdoor track is still buried in snow. By weekends, we hope to get on Superior Hiking Trail soon. The rivers became dangerous for snowshoe travel with last week’s rain — and skiing, too. Sad, but on to the next!