World maps and spinning globes. Stovetop popcorn that knows exactly when to stop popping. Big, bright stars and the bigger, brighter, moon. Tiny houses. Paying it forward. Every kind of engine. A friend’s handwritten letter that brings so much comfort I carry it around for days. My mother’s hands. My brother’s resilience. My partner’s fun-loving spirit. A good cry and a healthy dose of vulnerability. Physics. Chopsticks. Chapstick. My body. How words can simultaneously fill me up to the brim and deplete me completely. How sentences are the building blocks with which I navigate this world, and how, without them, I’m not sure I could get by. Vipassana meditation. Tinkerbell. Foreign language fluency. French fries dipped in chocolate Frostys. The freedom to love whom and how I, you, we, want. Driving fast with the sun on my face and the wind in my hair. The sun and the wind and the elements in general. My father’s discernment. My sister’s full-blown silent laughter. The way Piper lets me lay my head on her soft puppy body even though I know I’m disturbing her nap. The ocean, so stubborn; the river, so insistent. Car wrecks we walk away from, unscathed. The grace with which Granddaddy left this world. The grace with which a dear friend’s baby girl came into this world. The Grand Canyon’s ridges and how, after hiking them for days, they became sweet potato wedges, slightly browned crispy indentations, layer upon layer of comfort and challenge and sustenance.
The Lone Bellow. Birth control. Billy Collins’ poems. Hoping for trick-or-treaters anyway. One-of-a-kind greeting cards that sing with love and sweetness. Executing a perfect dive. Twinkles and tangles. The power of those pussyhats. Fluffy diner hotcakes and fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice. Singing Christmas carols, in church, as a family, on Christmas Eve. A cricket’s chorus on a hot summer night. How bending to work can feel like hope, like grace. How FaceTime is so much better than just calling and, on that note, how incredible it is to hear another human’s laughter while holding their face, vis-à-vis a device, in the palm of my hand. A hammock’s mechanics. Soft candlelight. Those first few kisses. The way campfires live on in the folds of my favorite flannel. How, at the airport, after long stretches apart, the man I love lifts me up and spins me around and grins into my hair and this, I know, is home. Lightning. Airplanes. A propensity to seek silver linings and an ability to habitually find them. How my best friends just get it. The thrill of arriving in a new place. The thrill of being lost and feeling great about it. This Colorado sky. God, all up in these mountains. Knowing when to stop. Knowing when to keep going. The efficiency of high-speed trains. Window seats and playgrounds and tree house sleepovers. Feeling known, deeply truly known. Coming together. Coming home.