Thank you so for coming: the dim lamplight you began with and the steady sound of rain. Thank you for insisting on the simple strengthening exercises that put the pain aside and return me to myself. Thank you for the wriggling eagerness of Dog who meets me at the door. The gloriously wet walk for miles around, Dog's cheerful steady trotting, tail waving like a flag all 8 miles, and thank you for this joy again of being able to move once more under my own power!
Thank you for the resumption of the weekly walking conversation (So his grandmother asked that she be buried with a book she hadn't read yet and I asked his mom what book she'd want to be buried with when the time came and she said Gone with the Wind . . . and it wasn't until afterward I realized - was that a joke? )
Thank you for the joy of Dog at the warm rub-down on coming home!
And thank you for this home to open the door on - Christmas music playing, YoungSon still in his fuzzy pajama bottoms and slick UnderArmour biking shirt. Fritz putting together a kitchen stool from Ikea. Middlest and her "soul table" from French class planning out a video project - more precisely waiting for one more arrival so they can begin planning out etc. and meanwhile putting together a 1000 piece puzzle while one of the boys plays piano, picking out by ear the music to the Quebecois song they're using as soundtrack:
(thank you for music, for bicycle rides, for trees, for sweetness in the young)
Thank you for the comfort of warm water filling the kitchen sink and the rising steam, the clean dishes lining up in the drainer.
Thank you for the kettle singing out and the heavy mug of hot tea.
Thank you for the warmth of the heat vent right at my feet as I stand at the kitchen sink.
Thank you for the miracle that is bread: the fragrance of olive oil and honey and wheat freshly ground; the generations of hands that touch mine in the kneading.
Thank you for the soft chiming that is the rain hitting the stove fan exhaust vent.
Thank you for YoungSon who is Mr.Christmas, decorating the tree, lugging up tubs of lights and garland, even though he says he's sick and lies down in the middle of the day for a long nap.
Thank you for the basket of clean clothes, the watery sunlight pouring over my shoulder while I fold.
Thank you for hot bathwater and Maggie Fergusson's biography of the Orkney poet George Mackay Brown (for that matter, thank you for books and poets and library cards).
Thank you for the quiet moment you gave me today holding hands with my daughter, who tells me why it is we get along, while she practices her driving coming the long way home through foggy forest.
Thank you for dinner of canned soup and "special medicine" (orange juice and seltzer water and optional grenadine) and the four of us around the table.
And now thank you at last for the quiet kitchen, full of the smell of fresh-baked bread. And the sound of Fritz sleeping and the tap-tapping of the keyboard, the hum of the refrigerator . . . and nothing else but quiet.