Day 18: Today was Peggy Day. Small matter that I awoke feeling unwell again, less stomachache but more sinus infection-ish. Knowing I’d see her in a few hours roused the happy hormones, however, motivating me to pick up the slack in the “self-care,” “my body is a temple” department.

I rebounded (jogging now!), meditated, practiced yoga, journaled, performed my “coffee and causes” session, played soccer goalie with Zig, chastised all three stooges for scooping soil from poor St. John’s planter during the night (“We don’t dig up family”), fed the culprit(s), adding fresh ice cubes to their water bowl–Breenie likes it cold–wondering when I’d ceased to have authority over my brood.

Fortunately, like the opening strumming of “Here Comes the Sun,” a crimson cardinal trilled a melody on a naked branch, one of hundreds against a stark backdrop of foul snow, and cheered me. Happy hormones pumped within even while a thought, bittersweet as the bird’s cherry hue, rose to the surface: as free as he was, wings allowing him to ride invisible currents oh so high, millennia of instinct coursed through him. A pull too strong to deny, demanding long, dangerous, draining distances from him, millions of them, each year.

I wondered if they ever wished to stay, ignore the urge and settle down, happy and content on their naked branches. Soon enough Mother Nature would adorn them in her purest hues. I could teach them if they asked. I wouldn’t, though.

Better the bittersweet freedom of flight. Peggy taught me that.

Lack of communication is unhealthy.

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