Rain, silently last night, and sun, brilliant and bold this morning. Perfect weather, watering the new plants and the grass seed overnight, and then the sun for growth. I walked with a deep sense of relaxation and peace in the wet woods, under the canopy of shade. Today, Frank returned to the surgeon who operated on his heart and I drove him. It felt like a circle we were completing, this last visit after a month since this heart issue surfaced and was resolved in a rapid, dramatic way. I felt a surge of affection and gratitude when the surgeon walked in to see his patient thriving. Quietly, I sat there as he chatted and answered Frank’s questions. What I was thinking, feeling, really, was how touched I was that this doctor called me, first thing, from the surgery room as soon as the almost six hour surgery was over. He could have waited, come into the waiting room where I’d been that whole time. It’s what I was expecting. The phone call was a gift. And then, he appeared. And he wasn’t a god in that moment. He was a sweaty man with a strained and exhausted expression and I could see in his face how hard he had been working to ensure my husband was fine. We drove home from seeing the surgeon on this sunny afternoon and talked. It’s a humbling experience. How lucky we’ve been, our married lives, to not face any momentous health risks until now. We have lost our innocence in a way. Risk is not abstract. It is real. We are mortal. He will be stronger because of this: he has a healthier heart now. And he’s aware that he’s lucky and he is embracing good habits and changing because he very much wants his healthy life. Am I changed? Yes. I know who I am more clearly. I know how limited time is in a whole new way. I cannot wait to say things I need and want to say and do things I need and want to do. I cannot pretend I don’t know what I want from life and I cannot fail to trust my instincts and commit to what matters most to me. More than ever, I want to claim my writing and teaching and know what feeds me and feed who I can feed. His heart was operated on, and so was mine. And tonight, in my Monday night poetry group, my poem was operated on, in a sense. By trusted readers and listeners, and I came away with a sense of such hopeful confusion: my poem will grow. I will find my way in response to the good ideas given to me. I will let it change and grow.