There are many things for which I am thankful, but lately the simple ones have been most often in my mind. I love living in New England, and many of its best qualities are among my favorite things. This season of thanks I am grateful for…
Old, winding dirt roads that drift away to nowhere in particular. Fences staggering along with them—spangled with autumn leaves, sprinkled with apple blossom confetti, or just misty with morning. They make me want to walk along and breathe in fresh air, letting them take me on their journey.
Green Harbor. She is neither quaint, nor picturesque. She is tough without being hard, pretty without being precious, determined without being unforgiving, and home. Always. I like to think she has left her mark on my spirit.
Bittersweet. I know holly and spruce get all the press, mistletoe all the romance. I’ve always loved bittersweet, and not just for the poetry of its name. I love the bright, autumn colors that refuse to dim. I love the papery shell turning into a crown of petals around persimmon-dark berries. I love that, when everything else has fallen into the dry and dull leaves or drifts of snow, bittersweet stays crashing-bright through the winter.
Cardinals in the snow. Chickadees and other birds, too, but I love cardinals most of all. They flash across the yard, or the long path through the woods, bright and unapologetic in all seasons. But in winter they simply shout against all that white. Snow and bare branches cry out for cardinals.
Stone walls, for some of the same reasons I love dirt roads. Here in my home town some of the very oldest stone walls in our nation—in fact, the whole continent—meander along farms and fields. My own property is surrounded, some of them buried in areas under centuries of change. They endure. Lichen, leaves, and progress can’t intimidate them. It’s so wonderful that Massachusetts (all of New England, actually) has laws protecting them. They’ve seen so much of our history, and mark the borders of our past.
Max. My dog is a lunatic. He’s the warm chin on my thigh in even the darkest moment. He’s the clown who makes me laugh, and the companion who will never leave my side willingly. He waits in the window, fogging the glass, watching for my return when we are parted. His devotion is unconditional, and it is gratefully returned. I can’t imagine my life without my furry maniac.
THIS GUY. For far too many reasons to list, I am grateful for Ahmed. He is not just loving and devoted. He is not just kind and giving. He is not just passionate and deep, and strong and protective, and a million other things any woman would kill to have. He’s A GOOD MAN. Down to the toes, the fingertips, the very bottom of who he is. Ahmed is a good man, who does good things, and always takes care of me. For this I am surely not grateful enough, but as another year ends and a new one begins, I am going to make every effort to try harder.