1. The easy joy of meeting a sister in Christ and sitting with her like you've been sitting with her for a long, long time on a farm 14 miles away, which makes you close neighbors in these parts. The girls make birdseed out of sand and the boy sleeps in his mother's arms not knowing yet what strength it took to get him here.
2. Hearing that others believe in the work you're doing, that you're doing it well. And you need this encouragement right now when you aren't sure how to put words together the right way, feeling for them in the dark room of "I can't answer that yet."
3. Feeling God's hand of peace placed across your forehead while Miss N screams and cries and doesn't want to leave and sometimes you feel the same way and again, God's hand cools and calms and the water is good. And you float along knowing that you can't go wrong with more love.
4. Realizing what a different life one can have after the therapeutic heat of a bath unwinds the knots you've worked into your shoulders carrying the good weight of a life blessed with so much to lift up with Him on the other end asking, "You got it?" "Yes, Lord. As long as you've got the heavy end and you don't mind being the one walking backwards."
5. The green shoots appearing, shy green head of spring: crocus, daffodil, iris. And a daylight savings time on the way, which means more time in the dirt and the green stuff. Pulling into the drive and already the dead stuff is packing its bag as you imagine the wheelbarrow and the rake and the sweatshirt that will eventually be too warm to wear.
6. Coming down hard on yourself for so many things and being able to identify where it's coming from instantly, like shooting pickles in a barrel. Those same old tricks no longer work on me. Besides I don't address you directly anymore. You'll have to talk to my Agent.
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8. Why would anyone shoot a pickle?