A Gift


The waning moon hangs in the sharp morning sky, a pale reminder of its full self in darkness two nights ago, now surrounded by high, wind-thinned clouds and low, dark ones. The wind is cold, coming at my face where it’s bare between my hat and neck warmer. This is winter and it’s my first time out in it.

It’s my first time outside since Friday, a day spent celebrating with family, which included time on the porch of Chris and Jon’s house, bringing back all the mornings I drank my coffee there this summer.  Keeping with the family tradition of Christmas at Chris’s, Jon and his boys hosted the family dinner, which was delicious and lovely and sad.  I know the hole a loved one leaves lessens over time, or takes up less of the available awareness in any given moment, but this hole is fresh and big.  And Adrienne and Matt and the grandkids weren’t there because Adrienne had a stomach bug that sent them straight home after Christmas morning at my parents’ house, meaning they didn’t come back to NH after dinner at Jon’s.

But it was warm and sunny.  Porch weather.  I’m glad I took advantage, because the stomach bug got me that night, and I barely got out of bed on Saturday and got out of bed but not out of the house yesterday.  Two days of illness makes the simple act of waking up with enough energy to walk towards a waning moon feel like a gift.

Which, of course, it is.

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