You too belong here

A beautiful lakeside park with the sun on my back. A steep mountain trail to a flat rock and limitless view.

A long run. A slow walk.

Fresh hot coffee from the French press. Tea steeped to perfection in a delicate mug.

Beauty, nature, peaceful silence. Peace and unhurried time. The contrast of all these colors. The moving water. The willow tree swaying like a perfect welcome, arms open.

Movement and life all around. The feeling of laughter. Eyes that flash in shared amusement across a room. A warm smile. Eyes that understand, or try to. The self-deprecating joke that turns the tide of conversation when I’m starting to drown. The comfort of shared silence.

The different ways people say, I care about you.

The cool breeze, chilly shadows, shifting branches, sun breaking through, warmth.

The different ways the earth reminds us, You too belong here.

A casserole in a dish I’ll forget to return for several months. Leftovers packaged and pressed into hands.

A guitar. A pair of running shoes. A beautiful painting. Flowers. A cup of coffee. A bottle of bourbon. A meal. A rocking chair. A song you think I’ll like. Cash tucked in a hand or sent thru an app. Chocolate.

Late-night phone conversations. Drives to nowhere and everywhere. Bookstores and hikes. Moving furniture. Storing boxes. Invitations, open arms, space granted without resentment, hugs I can feel across the miles. Memes and jokes and messages. Helping me take a breath when I panic. Shared pain, shared joy.

The different gifts people give.

The ever-settling knowledge that the lines have fallen to me in pleasant places.

How beautifully I am loved.