For firm mattresses and soft down comforters. And mango with sticky rice. Voicemail messages cheering me on. Unwavering love. The sound of small feet making their way down the stairs in the morning.
For the salty water of the sea. And fresh water lakes. Expansive, fast flowing rivers, especially the Mississippi. For tiny rivulets, and creeks running through the woods; for cold, clear springs; for the pond in Sheila and John’s backyard. Clean water for drinking; hot water for renewal.
For exercise balls in meeting rooms. And camaraderie of colleagues. For my office painted to match the sky. For chair massages and yoga and tai chi offered by my workplace. For children and dogs wandering the office and the resultant delight of my coworkers. For working together to change the way we have food.
For clean food, lovingly tended, and abundantly available. For the comfort and community of our coop. For a piece of hearty bread toasted, covered in avocado, a bit of salt and pepper, topped with a sprinkling of truffle oil. And for Halloween candy that disappears from my home.
For a car not stolen and still in my driveway every morning. For apologies and fresh starts. For forgiveness. For the way that a very bad decision can transform a life. For understanding that people change. For when we allow another’s change.
For laughter heard from another room, and laughter over the phone and across the breakfast table and in my arms; laughter around the circle of women and writers and friends and during the meeting and conference and class and amongst the gaggle of girls and as the boys spin past.
For countertops and tables filled with tomatoes from friends’ gardens and for roasting with balsamic vinegar and salt and olive oil. For basil all spring and summer and into the fall to match with tomato and fresh mozzarella: the Caprese summer.
For the girl morphed into woman and the depth of wisdom and understanding of people and systems and her place in them.
For standing in the garden of a friend and admiring an exquisite Japanese eggplant, so delicate and fine. For the sparrows and chickadees and crows and blue jay and cardinals and robins whose song lightens a spring morning.
For trading clean bathrooms for cleared gutters. For flying across the country to tend internal fires. For the careful study of what goes into our food. For the water fire ritual on a river whose name no one can pronounce in Providence, RI. For the ways every day that art makes life better.
For gobs of paint on cardboard and a boy whose favorite thing is to create a bit of beauty. For a mushroom log sitting under my maple tree. For a story well told and a room of careful listeners. For people who write. For being able to see what isn’t obvious. For intuition. For knowing. And for trying new ways to do something that isn’t working.
For time spent caring about hearts and history and families and how we can be who we really are. For Family Constellation work. For Tending the Fire Within work. For yoga and breathing and meditating and being here.
For love in all its versions; for gentle kisses on tips of fingers; for deep brown eyes that say yes; for five-year-old hugs so tight (“Can you still breathe? I can’t!”) For first love and old love, for love between friends and love of neighbor and store clerk and stranger. For big and strong love and gentle and all-encompassing love; for passionate and unapologetic and enduring and just-the-way-it-is love. For tenderness and being all there and for not running away though you’re terrified. For love.
For staying. For leaving. For my soft pair of lamb’s wool slippers that keep my feet warm. For smiles that keep my heart warm. For the way that it is. And the way that it will be.