A friend who follows me on Instagram and saw this ice photo says she sees a kiss in this. I want to see it too! My husband warns me before I walk; he has been out to his meeting and knows it is cold. I dress warmly, and go out to encounter the fresh ice on the river and the brook, grateful for the blue sky and sun on this late morning. I have tweaked my poem, it’s ready to bring for tonight. Indoors, it’s a distracted busy day to be home working; one daughter is applying for graduate school and needs files and feedback; another needs her auto insurance file. I often think of my Aunt Marion, and what she said to me as she was dying. At fifty-five, too young, and in pain, physically, and having recently lost a job and been left by her life partner, even so, she said how grateful she was, that she’d had a good life. I hear this, young myself, twenty two or three, it made me wiser about gratitude. When they are here in this house, my kids, I am grateful. One needs to talk about relationships so I listen while I take down the Christmas tree, bird by bird, nest by nest, and hope my comments about life are helpful, and she eats her sandwich and keeps talking and unloading, and so they must be; she hasn’t gone off mad. The other one takes the tree for me, bends it over and shoves it out the door into the cold for recycling. The other daughter, done with her sandwich has the red broom, sweeping all the dropped needles, we throw them outdoors. I am happy, living a good life, aware of it, too, mostly, because I write, and writing about my life is doubly, triply, the way to really feel all this happiness, all this awareness of my good fortune. I have outlived my aunt’s age of dying, too young. I have the good fortune to have other aunts I love a lot, they are alive and living great lives. The living room is swept clean, the tree is gone, the nests I brought in from outdoors for the tree are still here. I have tucked them on top of a mirror framed by the bark of a tree so I can see them every day and believe in them always.