IAM GRATEFUL THIS MORNING for another vivid pink dawn, and a size-XXL black cat that purrs loudly at the sight of me. Things weren’t always so peaceful between me and Jack the Demon Cat, a semi-wild stray who adopted me but kept his distance—then regularly came closer and took his precision-aim swipes at living things like my arms. Things weren’t always so peaceful between me and my whole life. But I am aware each day of how much has changed, and of these reasons to be grateful:
FOR THE CHANCE to live in the garden, finally, after more than 20 years of back-and-forth weekending. Even nearly three years in to my “new” life, I awaken astonished every day, and remain transfixed by all its intricate goings-on. Were all these mammals, insects, reptiles, birds—not to mention the plants—really this busy doing fantastic things together all those years when I was absent?
FOR FINALLY, after two prior winters of practice, having figured out the right long underwear and the right anti-skid winter footwear to sail through whatever gives. (No, I am not a spokesperson for either.) The question of the right warm slippers remains elusive.
FOR A CELLAR full of garlic and potatoes (sweet and white) and onions and squash, and two freezers full of everything else I grew. With the joy of homegrown food—which sustains us both in the growing, the cooking, and the eating—I am wildly blessed.
FOR THE INTERNET, whose unimaginable range of applications and other super-powers allows us all to learn and connect even when we choose a life of rural solitude. Particularly for WordPress, the platform that powers this site, and the extended family it has brought to me.
FOR THE OPPORTUNITY to write again—both the memoir coming out in February called “And I Shall Have Some Peace There” (meaning right here), and now another one. Yes, I am starting on the next book, thanks to my faithful editor, and all I can reveal is that the garden has a major role in its plot.
FOR SOMEONE to share it all with (even if he is really hairy and, truth be told, snores loudly). Kidding—I didn’t mean Jack, or at least not only Jack—I meant my tiny but fierce family; my tight little circle of old, old friends; my increasingly neighborly neighbors on this dirt road in this town of 300 that is my true home; and all of you. Thanks for your faithful visits, your comments that make me think and rethink everything we ”talk” about. Thanks for sharing.
(Top photo by my beloved friend Erica Berger.)