Stevie Nicks, my beautiful rescue pup. For the way that she loves and trusts me a little bit more each day. For the perspective and empathy I’ve gained since I brought her home. For the opportunity to look back on months of feeling frustrated, stressed, in over my head, and like things might never improve and know now that they did. That things will always get better. That everything that is too heavy to carry around forever eventually gets lighter. Or you learn to let it go and leave it behind. For the idea that the things you work hardest for are the things you find most rewarding.
How loved my nephew Johnny makes me feel. The thrill I get when we read together and he points to a word he knows. His hugs, kisses, and cuddles. The way he reaches out and puts his little hand in mine. What it must feel like to look up to someone before all your idols have been cancelled.
Good food. The way good bread makes me feel nourished. Avocado. The crunch of salad after a week of too much fast food. The bitterness of arugula. The heat of soup. The cut of cream. Coffee in all its literary and physiological flair.
The windows in my study. A decadent spread of snow-covered trees. Where the Minnesota sunsets are red and pink on the snow and every night you hear the punctual sounds of a train in the distance.
Winter. Because it sucks up all the noise.
Journaling. This writing life. Art. Good company. Each other. This warmth. Human bodies and the pleasures and dishonors they stick us with.
My warm bed. Its furs and blankets and assorted canines. Those sweet memories I fall asleep thinking about. The confidence that so many more moments will join them. Optimism. Hope. Contentment.