Slow rising. . . I sit in front of my window waking up, reading e-mail, reading the news. It’s going to be a busy, happy day, and I have much to do - my husband is giving me a party for my 60th birthday. They have suggested I leave for the day while they set everything up; but I know there will be so much more to do and I want to help. The dogs sit at my feet, impatient to go – and so I get up to get ready and catch sight of a red tailed hawk in the tree outside my window, as if it’s staring down and imagining tonight’s party taking shape on our deck. I wake both my daughters because I know when I point out the hawk they’ll be excited, and they are, and they both quickly get ready, now they’ll join me on my walk. The hawk has drawn us outdoors together for an early walk on a busy day. So, we take a short one. And I feel like my party day has truly begun to have them happily with me in the woods. How can I even begin to say what a splendid day and evening it is? How blessed, so completely I am, by my husband, my children, my brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles and friends? I spent some quiet time thinking of my parents and missing them. So, to have two sets of my dear aunts and uncles, my father’s brother and sister come through the door meant so much to me. At sixty, they are my elders, and this is a blessing, to have them in my life standing for so much, lovely role models. Those grape leaves on the brook, heart shaped, and the milkweed exploding its seeds by the river’s edge. Tonight, the moon, three quarters more, in a cloudless sky, lighting the deck where we danced, and the red tailed hawk, a visitor, anticipating this special day unfolding for me. I am filled, filled, filled up with joy and gratitude for this day, for this time of my life, for this moment, this day.