Sometimes I forget to breathe. So wrapped up in the sensation of sheets before bed, the flickering candle or sound of trains passing, long seconds will lapse without exhalation. Finally recalling this basic function, I’ll sigh out my continued existence and my anxious heart will resume its pounding life, life, life pounding life, life more urgent than before, so that I can’t tell if the quaking of my body from hair on end to chipped blue toenail polish is merely this frantic heart or the house falling down or the world ending or all three at once.

Cultivating gratitude.

12-year friendships.

Refrigerator artwork.

Dense brownies with chocolate chunks.

Caitlin’s playlists.

Wrinkle-faced dogs.

Painted-faced kids.

Pottery mugs.

Making breakfast together.

Health insurance.

Late nights.

Small-town city council stories.

Fried zucchini.

My sister’s ring.

Amy Poehler.

Red wine.

Dance partners.

The smell of library books.