I had one of those nights last night, out in the quiet and dark country, where I ended up crying myself to sleep. Do you have those? I mean, it’s not exactly like you fall asleep crying; it’s more like you cry until you stop, and then you eventually fall asleep, often with very sad, anxious, or spinning thoughts jumping over the fence, rather than sheep. Anyway, I woke up in the morning having to rush back to the city, and I planned it so that I gave myself just enough time, including a stop for mail, one for gas, and one for a soy latte.

On my way out of the driveway, still feeling a blue, I saw, out of the corner of my eye, a speck of bright red. There it was, almost like it was hiding behind a tree, but sneaking a peek at me—a cardinal, flashing orange-red in the grey-green pine needles. I felt a little better (well, not really, honestly), and better still (not really, either) when I went to get my mail and poked my head through the postmaster’s window to see who was in there: Middle-aged and thorny-sweet Linda was on, sitting there reading a magazine. I wonder if she took that out of someone’s mail.

Then, to top it off (well, no, I’ll tell you more later), I decided to go to the full-service gas station, since it’s owned by a townie rather than BP, and the owner, pumping my gas, pointed out that I had a nail in my tire, and that it was on the way to nearly flat. I thought, “Crap! I’m going to be late!” The guy at the garage next door said he could fix the flat in half an hour: Shit!

So there I was, carless, coffeeless, late. What the fuck: I walked into town and got a latte and walked back, and by the time I got the garage, I’d figured out my whole life, and it had to include trees, sky, water, yoga, and writing. It had to include nice people and walks to coffee. It had to include obstacles that made you stop and appreciate what a beautiful day it was.

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