Before my walk, I heard talking in the kitchen, early. I went downstairs. My husband had just left for his morning meeting, and my son was making his breakfast. Immediately, the day started with an amends: he apologized for a small misunderstanding we’d had the night before. He was on his way to a conference and needed to prepare a mental fitness based warm up. So, while I sat with my coffee, he got out his buckets and dice and ice from the freezer and we worked out a great idea. A lovely, creative way to start the day. Outdoors, it was not raining, but, of course it was wet from last night, which made the meadow and the river gorgeous under the gray cloud cover. All the wildflowers were covered in raindrops. I went very slowly into the meadow with the dogs. The river is high and in the middle of the field two mallards, Mrs. and Mr., casually waddled through the tall grass. I leashed Charlie before he spied them. I thought the mallards would fly immediately, but they didn’t seem to notice us. Soon enough, Charlie saw them and reacted, but I held tight to the leash. The mallards lifted swiftly into the sky, flew toward the river and over it, then flew over our heads, the field, once, before skidding back to the surface of the Charles. I was so happy in the meadow this morning. All the peace of the open hearted meadow swelled in every cell of my body. Such deep, warm pinks and reds in the landscape. The grass is such a deep and hopeful shade of green. The morning of this day, my son, his work, our brainstorming, the muddy meadow throbbing with new life and old age and fresh beauty – I begin the day with a grateful heart and mind. Mental fitness and performance indeed.