Jessica's grandmother writes from her loft at her Wisconsin lakeside cottage of the intangibles she wants to give to Jessica and her generation. Writing in view of the red pines and birch trees, the water and the light, with the sound of loons in the distance, Gayle Graham Yates reflects upon insights, knowledge, and stories she has learned. A woman, family member, citizen, environmentalist, and spiritual seeker, Yates considers in this memoir-as-letter-to-her-granddaughter both distresses and joys, people, opportunities, and education that have shaped her own life and that she wants to pass along.
The flow of the book is metaphorically seasonal from autumn through summer. Moving through ethical frameworks drawn from Aristotle's ethics and the Ojibway narrative by Ignatia Broker, Night Flying Woman, the chapters develop sequentially through ways of learning, ways of loving, and ways of hoping. All this is to the end of lovingly transmitting to her granddaughter what she knows.