1. Getting to see the sun rise. This is good in the smaller sense of being up early enough to see it, how beautiful it is, but also in the larger sense of how lucky I am to be alive for another day, to be here with eyes that can see.
2. Sweet Sam. He turned five this week. We don’t really know when he was born, only when he was found roaming a tiny town in Wyoming with his brother. No one claimed him so he was sent to Fort Collins. We saw an ad his foster mom posted on Craigslist and picked him, adopted and brought him home. When he lost his first baby tooth, we counted back 16 weeks and gave him his birthday. He is so patient and sweet, but also so strong.
3. The end of Fall semester. Today is the last day of classes and next week is finals week. Even though I’m not teaching, there’s still a particular energy on campus this time of year — a mix of relief, exhaustion, and joy. People are giddy with the almost being done, the promise of a break.
4. All the cool stuff we see on our walks. Just the normal stuff — the trees and the river and the sky — is amazing, but then we get the added bonus of things like deer, wild turkeys, beaver, and the occasional fox or owl.
5. Christmas music. Not all of it. For example I had a doctor’s appointment last week and some of the stuff they were playing was awful. But there’s other Christmas music that’s so good I could listen to it all year, like Daniela Andrade‘s Christmas EP.
Bonus joy: the way you can call anyone at anytime if you have a cellphone with you, mashed potatoes the way Eric makes them, long hugs in the kitchen, cuddling with Sam, how cute Ringo is when he’s asleep or couching, good news when you’ve been worried and waiting.