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Square Brick Box

This is what I am looking for.


It is a Friday morning, early March. The temp outside is 20 degrees and I put a piece of wood in the wood stove. The embers and the new wood will get the room heated up.


The coffee is brewing, and I am looking forward to that first cup.


I am listening to the classical music station on the radio. It has an old-fashioned feel to it when the DJ comes on and talks or when they go to the "Eye in the Sky" weather. I feel like I am sitting in my grandmother’s den while she makes a cup of tea.


I step outside to get a feel for the day. I stand on the back deck and take a big, deep breath. Ahhhhhhh! The air is starting to get that spring smell, that mud smell of things waking up from their long winter nap. With the temp still well below freezing, there is still a part of winter hanging around. There are no clouds in the sky and the eastern horizon is beginning to brighten. The sun is starting to rise in a different place than it was just two months ago. It is moving north on the horizon. When there are no leaves on the trees, you can see the hills east of the village come into view as the sun starts to rise.


All this adds up to the life that I wanted when I was 23 years old. At that time, I was living by myself in an apartment in Medford, MA. The apartment was one of many in a square brick box of a building. I spent a lot of time alone in that place. There were some good times and those were fun. There were also some terribly lonely times when I could not see a path forward. I didn’t know what I wanted but early mornings, classical music, wood stove, and coffee were things that I would have signed up for then.

How do we talk to ourselves when we are 23 years old and let ourselves know that it is going to be OK? How do I talk to myself now at 50 and tell myself that it is going to be OK? That my kids will be fine? That I will be able to retire before I die? That I will not be watching the world end from my front porch?


I remind myself that the loneliness I felt 25 years ago passed, and the fear that I feel today will pass.





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