Morning: The space is both barn and ark, the ceiling high and made of wood slats stained dark. Nora sits quiet beside me as the woman in front speaks of advent, the coming, and explains the candles and tree, the banner that will rotate for the next three weeks until it reveals the arrival of Light in the dark world. Every Wednesday, I join the kindergarten class for chapel. I'm the tallest one in the group by far. Later, I join the folks at Concordia for communion. I leave my coat on because I'm uncomfortable with my body lately, a winter pattern. I make a note of it, this desire to hibernate in large pieces of fabric, to hide and burrow. I sit down and close my eyes. The people around me are singing hymn 349. I keep my eyes closed and ask to be refreshed.
Afternoon: The wind blows my earrings around, so I take them out and shove them down into the pocket of my jeans. The route I take from my office and into the woods is as direct as possible, a slight turn around the art building and a few yards across the track. I make a note of the way others engage motion: one man walks in circles with his hood pulled up, the other runs. I realize I'm not a "track" person. I keep walking up and over the rise and down a steep hill until I reach the trail. Supposedly there have been mountain lion sightings, so I stick to the concrete part. Mountain lions hate concrete. That's a fact. I keep my eyes open and ask to be refreshed.
Early Evening: Nora and I finish her birthday poster, she eats, and then it's straight to the bath. Hair is washed and braided, fingernails clipped, lotion rubbed into little feet, stories of snow bears and kissing frogs are read, and she is refreshed.
Late Evening: I stretch and move this body, unwrap the fabric, and after thirty minutes, I can feel oxygen in the blood stream again. I hear from Tom who has been in NYC for the last few days. I miss him constantly, running my hands through this time apart, trying to untangle the distance. I need to be brave enough to feel how much I miss him, and when I hear his voice on the line: