First, I check to see how the flowers have fared in the gardens. They have fared well, and the weeds as well. I pull a few here and there. We walk to through the meadow under clouds where my transplanted Queen Anne’s Lace is a little parched, but alive and well. Will it rain? I walk through the woods to meet my friend and her dogs on the trail. My shins and knees, calves and thighs have missed these lush woodland ferns, their soft brushing as I pass from the edges of trail. I look for what is new or changed. The lily of the valley berries are coming in, and the dogwood berries are silvery blue by the river. Late summer, I am here, witnessing cycles of change. My friend is changing. The plants are changing. I am changing. I am learning every day more and more to be grateful. My friend tells me news of change. I am grateful. How wonderful our walks are. Just for today. We have this walk, today, and this long long talk and reconnection, and then a swim in the pond under clouds to refresh with the dogs. My daughter, my youngest, is changing: she is going to graduate school. Today, she does not feel ready. So I spend time helping her feel ready enough for today. This involves listening as well as laundry, this involves unpacking clothes and repacking clothes with her. Frank is changing. He is playing tennis nearly as well as he was; his strength is returning. After dinner - we host his mother and her boyfriend - we walk across the meadow to the bench at the river’s edge. The sky is changing, the light is changing, it’s darkening early and I am realizing what I appreciated so much two days ago about the Ocean Vuong quote I shared in this blog: I thought I knew and could create when her wedding would be, along some known road, following rules. “Remember: The rules, like streets, can only take you to known places.” Her wedding, I see so clearly now, is in a remarkable place and time entirely unknown to me. Why should it be otherwise, and how could it be?