Every time I take the path from the bluff down to the shore of Lake Michigan at our beloved Doctors Park, I see the picnic table where, nearly forty years ago, I sat with my young daughter on Christmas Day as she pulled out the blades of her new Swiss Army Knife one by one.
It was just the two of us.
It was uncommonly warm for Christmas in Wisconsin, spring-like, the air carrying the honey of renewal and possibility, the sun shining and the water of Lake Michigan glittering like it does sometimes when you expect to feel lonely and alone, the water deciding somehow to erase your gloom and make you grateful to be alive at that moment.
What I’m saying is this.
Love what you have
Put your yearning in the drawer
Behind the sweaters you don’t wear
And the scarves your mother sent you
Sit by yourself on a bench
Smooth your hands on the wood slats
Let the sun echo through you
Like a medicine, a poultice on your soul
And go, feeling fine, feeling whole
Own yourself and your footsteps
The day that is here is yours
Nothing is lacking, you are full, your arms are full