rest and be thankful

I’m looking through the window at the woods below our house. The earth is resting on one of the last mornings of winter. Poplar, hickory, cherry, and oak trees bare and stately, a few beech still holding leaves from autumn, one pine green as ever. Water spilling over stone into a small pond, sunlight slanting on gray and brown, a white-blue sky.

Inside, at the kitchen table, I am resting, too. I’ve slept in my own bed twice in the past ten days, and this morning I’m savoring a good night of sleep, an early run in the woods with Mark, and the nourishment that has been mine this winter:  one of the best conversations ever with Jeanine, about who we are, and how we are, together; a blessing for Walton, with family and friends in our home, before his solo trek-by-bus across the country; conversations with Peyton, over Christmas break and by phone from Vermont, as she begins adulthood so thoughtfully and so well; the annual Valentines Banquet with Jerome, Judy, Meg, and Win; a night at the Grey Eagle hearing Lake Street Dive; the prayers in Nan Merrill’s Psalms for Praying; Sunday hikes up the side of Swan Mountain; salmon, steak, wine, and chocolate with Janice and Doug in their home by the river; sledding in the pasture and playing Settlers of Catan with my nieces on a surprise snow day; the reliable love of my mom and dad, Mack and Babes; the fake mustaches my brother Marshall brought for the family Christmas photo; laughter and tears shared with the people I talk with in my therapy practice; the sparkle in the eyes of the residents in the CareNet training program; the resilient example of family and friends being treated for illness; endorphins that bless me twice a week in the 6 am spinning class at the YWCA; emails from friends near and far; living in Asheville; and more, of course. But these I remember now, and breathe a thanks.

There’s a line from William Wordsworth, “rest and be thankful.” When I first met Jeanine, her parents had a beach house by that name. This morning, I do both.

In rest, with the earth, and with thanks for the winter, I am making ready for spring.


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