I turned down a chance to hike in the desert this morning with people I like very much. It would have meant catching the bus at 7:45, and it sounded like too much to me last night, too much to aim for. I didn’t want to rush today. Still, this morning I felt discomfort, a kind of regret. I’ve had to shrug it away, release it more than once, a voice asking if I was wrong to turn down time with people I care about on this eve day, wrong to choose spending it alone. But I would not have wanted to miss my journey to the farmer’s market on my bike, the morning sun like summer on my skin. I would not have wanted to miss my cup of yerba maté beside me on the patio table while I write, each hot sip rich and creamy with coconut milk and honey. I would not have wanted to miss the afternoon sunlight touching my bare feet, the sparrows chatting in the pyracanthas, the Costa Hummingbird zipping in and out of the courtyard, the sound of people visiting across the street, an outdoor gathering at the Chabad, the flutter of unseen wings, a mystery bird in the big hibiscus. I would not have wanted to deny my cats the bliss of this December day outside or myself the luxury of anticipating my long walk in the late afternoon to my favorite part of town where the condominiums have left a sprawl of wildness in the midst of the manicure, or of coming back in the late dusk or the early dark, the bright-colored glow of my Christmas lights beside the gate welcoming me home. I would not have wanted to miss sitting here beside our mountain, relishing the light and color and life of our little garden on this many-textured day when everything is poised to change. I wouldn’t have wanted to miss writing this to you, or the thought of you reading it, knowing I was thinking of you, turning outward in this inward-turning time, wishing you full hearts and ordinary miracles, sending you this quiet joy with every squiggly stroke of black ink across the page. I wouldn’t have wanted to miss savoring this moment, or the sweet one on its heels in this ending of our year, not for anything.
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