Cat in the window, daughter down the hall, and clouds on the mountains

What an odd little glen I've stumbled into. The path is only here for a short few steps, but it's very pretty.

I have Pandora playing on my computer (I made a station called "Carla Bruni," and I'm really happy with the results). The cat is sitting in the partly open window sniffing somewhat without intention at bugs and bees that fly by every once in awhile.

And then, from my daughter's email address, I get a message about a funny thing to look at online. But this daughter is about ten steps away from me - for today - for right now, this morning, she is in a bedroom in our house, propped up at the head of the bed with her laptop. Her brother set up the wireless connection thingy for her before he left for school. So ... me online here, her online there, and what's the most sensible way to show me a link? By sending it, of course.

Soon she'll get up and leave the house for a last day of messing about in town. This weekend she has to go back. To Afghanistan. To the army. To war.

I feel as if I am ambling along, on some sort of naturalist's walk, taking notes and drawing pictures with colored pencils in my journal ... picking and pocketing a sample or two in the hope that their dried form might be enough to remind me of their lives. And now, all of a sudden I've turned a corner, and there is this peaceful, quiet, pretty, slightly amusing place. This little place. It's quiet in here, but it's not still. The water flowing in and back out again makes its bubbling noises on the rocks. Where the path leads around the corner and out the other side of this little, hidden place, I can see the mountains and the clouds that brush past their tops. What's up ahead is terrifying and beautiful and wild and so, so much larger than I am.

Today, this morning, I stop for a moment and breathe the air of this place. On my face I feel a hint of winter, like barely audible background music or the intake of breath before speech. I stand here, and I can hear the voices of the things I love. I won't stay long. But it sure is pretty.

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