The return to life is both abrupt and too-long coming. It’s like you’ve been walking around in a fog, in a blindfold, in the dark of night before there were stars. Now there are crocuses at your doorstep. And daylillies that bow their heads at your arrival. Friends who call and say things that have nothing to do with death. Friends who say everything about death–they know something about it, after all. Cats who want to wind around your ankles and be invited to nap in your lap again. Blink-blink of golden eyes says, “It’s been too long since I’ve sunk my kneading claws into your knees and purred while you wrote.” Tears that come for no reason, like saying the word, “Blueberries.”

Even in the midst of loss, good things. Boggle games with “words” like voom and joo. Hikes. Small laughter. Spring’s first bike ride. Spring’s first bike injury. An invitation to participate in a new magazine. A big yes. New business cards.  No, not new business cards–a whole new brand.  A first word. A second word. A whole essay. Plans for good, beautiful things: a new writing space, a Monday night trip with new friends, a novel critique group that will arrive at the house this week, a reading at Powell’s.

And so, you return and find life much as you left it. Joyous. Beautiful. Sharp as hell. Yours.