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I wore sandals and a tank top on the drive to New York.  My clothes were packed in a gorgeous piece of luggage that once belonged to my dad, as opposed to last time I drove here with everything in a gorgeous backpack.  Towards the end of the marathon drive I draped an ivory shawl around my shoulders while filling up the tank, body shaking in the cold. I felt no warmer when I walked into the house.

One dark morning I lay in bed restless in mind but body-tired.  I allowed the spirit to swing my legs over the brink and pull myself into layers, ungloved hands carrying coffee out into the yard, twenty nine degrees.  I walked the neighborhood next door to wait for sunrise.  Frost everywhere.  Someone’s Corvette is warming up in the cul de sac. I stood by the side of the road and watched squadrons of mallards in groups of four make their way due west, flapping furiously.  They never fly casually in any season.  Sunrise colors are muted here, dusty rose patchy and barely visible.  Later as I stood chatting with my brother we watched a small flock of starlings heading northwest-ish.  The sky will be black with them soon, the lawn a hopping black cacophony, but I won’t be here to see it.

This morning my Virginia neighbors tell me it’s raining, and I wish I could see it.  The first night I slept in New York the room smelled dry with a dash of dust. In Virginia my plants are turning to find the sun on the sill, the tides manage themselves every six hours and I miss the moisture today. This morning I contemplate all things wild, feathers, roots, whitecaps, hungry cats, a manchild, and myself.  Everything does what it needs to do, even that manchild of mine who is still figuring it all out. I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut and palms open.  There are better ways to handle growing pains.

Spouse brought me the boxes I asked for so I can dispose of these few things where they belong: donate, discard, or bring home.  Are my actions instinctive like mallard or like the probing tendril of a plant?  I.don’t.know.  We are hurting in different ways, but everything does what it needs to do.  Today is today, many things need doing, and I will do the best I can with these tender, beautiful hearts.