Homecoming morning, we stroll to the misty river’s edge, then run through the woods. Suzi and Charlie are happy I’m home. Later, I must have something to bring to my writing group to share and I’ve done no writing all weekend away. I open my long essay, hoping to find a chunk to revise and bring and instead I find it stinks, I’ve been wasting all these hours and months working on it, it’s time to give up and throw the whole thing away and just work on accepting that some projects just fail, because this is fifty or more pages of nonsense. So, I’ll having nothing for tonight. I could stay home. Except I can’t stand the idea of missing, of not being part of this process of critiquing. I want to read what my friends are writing. I want to have my say. I cannot show up empty handed, but I can’t find something fit for revising for tonight. . . can I? I scroll and scroll through the sections and pages. I find some heat and light – some pockets of goodness I want to keep. I move paragraphs and sections around, searching for sense. How does anyone writing a long essay like this stay with it long enough and creatively enough to even consider publishing it? Will this ever be published, and does it matter? Here’s what happened. I stayed at it, found a block to revise, a piece near the beginning, I reworked, and I began to like it. I saw that I would not be embarrassed to bring it. And, so I did. And the feedback was helpful, my friends helped me see what’s working, what’s not, and generally I agreed. But beyond that, one of them gave me an incredible gift, she saw something that was a revelation to me - a beautiful truth I had written and not seen. She seemed to think I had done it on purpose – crafted this illumination – but I hadn’t. Not on purpose, anyway. She uncovered an emotional truth about my mother it was really helpful to hear and see and own. My birthday is coming in days. Something broken, deep inside, between me and my mother, is mending.