It’s dark at 5 am already – again. This morning Leonard walked slowly-slowly back into the house after his morning yard duty, and he was followed by a small, white moth. I slid the glass door closed between them just in time to save my wool sweaters. Actually, I have no idea if it was the kind of moth that eats sweaters, but I do know there was something eery in its erratic movements and blinking wings.

Two nights now of sleeping well after a week of insomnia. It isn’t difficult to wake in the morning, but I move slowly. I’m still moving at a vacation tempo, forgetting that there is a clock ticking and a train to catch.

After four days of staff preparation, the students will return today. And for the first time in three years, I am looking forward to seeing them. For the first time in three years, I think I have something to give them, a way to guide them, to listen and learn from them. This is how it is supposed to feel on the good days. The calm anticipation of “in may very well go well”.

There can be a kind of ease in the everyday work day.

Neil thinks out loud about what makes a beautiful life. Maybe my problem has been that I keep looking for some kind of constant beauty rather than noticing the stitch of beautiful elements that holds it all together.

Other people, other creatures – dogs, moths, hedgehogs in the yard – these moments of interaction, these collisions, meetings, this is when we actually create the world. We do have a hand in crafting the beauty.

I have this “image” in my mind. Except it’s not an imageI think it’s a sensual memory. Indistinct. Life of some sort in the palm of my hand. I curl my fingers inward to hold it, but carefully. This thing is delicate. Easily disfigured.

Easily killed.

A heartbeat flutters sketching a ghostly sonogram on my skin. It’s a game of peek-a-boo and “careful-careful” and I feel like a toddler not knowing how to control my body with tenderness. I feel like a toddler confronting the wonder of it all.

But these moments pass so quickly. Something shiny just out of reach catches my eye. And “living in the moment” too often means a singular attention focused on this immediate thing. Too often the drama.

And it means something irreparably damaged. Lost before I knew what it was.

There are so many variables that it is difficult to pinpoint what has triggered a change. Sleep. Medication. Aging, and all the inevitable events that follow: deaths of all kinds. Maybe the burnout was finally so complete that I can rise again like a phoenix. An awkward baby bird.

I’ve enjoyed the quiet. This quiet. It is someone worth holding on to.