Most recently.

River Market Saturday, arms hugged tight around bundles of chives and lemongrass and antiqued treasures, feet rubbed raw and sore from too-new sandals, transparent thighs blushing a light pink in the almost-summer sun, belly swollen with burrito, tomato jerky, strawberry-jalapeño salsa. Content.

A crisper drawer stuffed with raw vegetables, set aside for juicing and smoothies and cut and cold for lunchtime. Home-cooked dinners showered with love and learning and care in each sweet potato chop and red onion tear dripping down my cheek.

Great Lake Swimmers and Johnny Cash after an evening of Broadway music performed by an orchestra I love for its origins and members and history.

Tonight, Kansas City was rich and alive with orange-licked skies that disappeared into a sea of navy speckled with pin holes of light, all reflected spectacularly over the Missouri River.

Today, I bathed in Steinbeck’s descriptions of life next to Monterey Bay, sank deep until just my nostrils and eyeballs peeked out of lukewarm bathwater as I remembered the barbed wire fences and crumbling buildings at the end of the contemporary Cannery Row. Steinbeck and Ben Gibbard and a 408 area code make my heart beat a little faster, make my stomach lurch a little as I long for the West. One year ago, I put aside everything I was certain of and turned to myself for 90 days and 90 nights. I’m still looking for the right words to capture what happened in those sun-blessed days and fitful nights of sterile sheets and an empty bed. I’ve said so much without ever saying it at all.

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