It’s still dark outside when a song begins to play from my phone, and I quickly press a button to silence it. I hold the phone in my hand, and I close my eyes again for a few moments.

My head feels clear and peaceful, but heavy to lift. I wait for sleep to wander away and remove the weight. I rise. I take deep breaths. My body is reluctant, but we are friends. It will listen to me.

It is raining again, it is always raining, and the rain has made everything smell of earthworms. But the cold water is refreshing on my hot face.

I climb into my car. This car, I have only had for a few months. He is old and red and lovely. The engine hums to life at my command, and I am glad. I will get to work in plenty of time. The gas is on full.

A short while ago I didn’t have a car of my own. It seems that I wished for this car and it came to life. One day I decided to look for a car. The next day I got a message about a car for sale. I happened to have the money in my account at that moment. That weekend, I drove it home.

I watch the small espresso glass fill with amber liquid as I prepare the machine. I love the smell of it, rich and nutty and warm. There are many things I get sick of, but the smell of coffee, and the drowsy contentment of an early morning routine, these are not among them.

A few months ago, I didn’t have any work, and I grew anxious as I watched the bills that added up, the loans that sat, festering, unabated. As I sit on the bus after work I look with relief at the numbers in my account. I feel that I am doing my part.

The hours drag on as I sit in class, and work hard to listen. I’m here, and I’m working, and I’m trying. I think this is good. I think about what I would be doing now, if I had not come back. I think about the time and work and money that would have been wasted, and about the disappointment. My disappointment in myself; others’ disappointment in me. I am still uneasy, but I do not doubt that this is my place, for now, this moment.

I crawl into bed, exhausted. My body is singing with gratitude: at the soft covers, my clean hair, the relief of my lower back as I lay down. At the person beside me, who tells me about his day, and we laugh, and joke, and cuddle. I think about how lucky I am to be with this person, through no wisdom of my own. About how we are always on each others’ side, and how we can always tell each other the truth.

I store these treasures in my heart, as mother Mary.


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