1. Morning walks. Everything is so green, the trees getting leaves, other things blooming, the landscape changing again, the geese and ducks and foxes having babies, the osprey hunting and nesting, the turtles out where you can see them, the robins and meadowlarks returning, the river fast and full of snow melt from the mountains. It brings me such comfort, such joy to know a place so well, to know what is coming and when, to see things make subtle shifts with time. These trails, this water are as much home to me as the house I live in.

2. May. It’s a strange month — everything is coming awake, alive, and yet it’s also a month of loss. My friend Kelly, my grandma, and Sam all died in May. It’s also the month the lilacs bloom. Life is like this. I told my therapist this week that “I’m not okay and I’m also totally fine,” both/and. Today is the 12th anniversary of Kelly’s passing. She was beloved by so many, including me, and her loss broke so many hearts — and completely changed my life, saved it. Her passing lit up my life and made me see it in a way I hadn’t — precious and temporary. She’s one of the reasons I haven’t given up, and I miss her so much. I’m so grateful, so lucky to have known and loved her, and it’s still sometimes so hard to believe she’s really gone for good. “When we lose someone we love, we must learn not to live without them, but to live with the love they left behind,” ~Unknown.

Kelly and baby Ari

3. Support, in particular the assistance I get from my therapist and nutritionist. Loving and feeding myself shouldn’t be so hard, but it is, and I’m grateful for the help.

4. The sky. Every morning, one of the first things I do is step outside and look up at the sky. It changes but it’s constant, and wherever I am all I have to do is look up.

5. My tiny family, tiny home, tiny life. Eric is officially on summer break now and I am loving how attached to me Ringo got over the past few months. He’s finally my dog just as much as he’s Eric’s, which is more important now that there’s only one dog.

Bonus joy: making art with Calyx, texting with Mom and Chris and Chloe’, good TV, how soft new grass is, how many blooms are on my lilacs this year (because for once there were no late freezes or storms to beat them up), eggs, our whole house fan, toast, clean water to drink and shower in, listening to podcasts, naps, good books, poetry, clean laundry, clean sheets, my weighted blanket, wool and down, birds in the feeder, yellow, meditation practice, writing in the morning, reading in bed at night while Eric and Ringo sleep.

I'd love to hear what you think, kind and gentle reader.

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