This morning when my kitten walked across my chest so he could curl up right against me, stretch his little kitten paw to touch my face, close his eyes and go back to sleep the same way he has done every morning since I brought him home, I thought to myself “this is my favorite part of the day” this part where my fearless kitten finds his way onto my bed, walks across my arms and chest then snuggles up against me. For the first time since 128 days ago, the first thought when I opened my eyes was not “I fucking hate mornings”. I still hate mornings but also, because of cuddles from a fearless kitten, it is my favorite part of the day. I will count this as a victory. A short-lived victory though because feet must touch the floor, anchors must be dropped onto the day and work, fucking work is waiting. I have a job. This is good. So many people don’t have jobs right now or they have jobs that barely pay their bills. I am fortunate. I have a good job with great leadership that pays me well. But still, overcoming tragedy, I feel, requires more than the few hours remaining after work each day. Shit, I can barely focus while I’m sitting at my desk. It’s sort of pointless but I do it anyway. I sit at a desk staring at a screen sometimes not moving for an hour. Sometimes I look up and find I have been productive for an entire hour and that’s another win. But always I can hear my garden calling me. Always I wonder if it needs a sip of water or how the bees are doing today or if they have something new to tell me. I linger now between two worlds: the one I was given after he killed himself where I sit for hours watching dragonflies rest on ledges, hummingbirds hum nearby, cicadas crescendo in the distance then write it all down, and this old world where I sit at a desk in a room painted desert bone with screens and keyboards and cases to review and I go through the motions. I move my eyes across a screen. I move my hands across a keyboard. I call my mind back to this room as it drifts unnoticed down the stairs outside into my garden. No more endless hours watching honeybees dance among round buds of purple standing tall on top of allium shoots. No more getting lost inside the creamy yellow coreopsis and the drifting blades of muhly grass dancing with the wind. I linger now between two worlds: the world I made from scratch from the ruins of this tragic tale, and the world where nothing every really changed. Not enough time to get lost inside my garden. Not enough strength to focus on my work. I dip my toes in each world and then move on. Always in the distance I hear my garden call me back. I should be more grateful. I AM grateful. I should be more focused. I try! I should do so many things. Yet here I sit exactly where I want to be. The symphony of summer writes its final score. But work awaits. I shouldn’t sit here any more. I made coffee today. That’s a win. I’m hungry but I don’t eat. Not a win. Then my eyes land on this thing of wonder, this Crape Myrtle that I brought home eight weeks ago, nursed back to health then planted where the cherry tree died, this Myrtle whom I’ve come to know so well and absolutely adore has, while I sat upstairs in my desert-bone office staring at computer screen, opened up her first bloom. That, my friends, is indeed a victory. Work awaits. I must go back upstairs.