10/28/2022 2 By BuddyCushman


I’ve been lost in the idea and reality of gifts lately. And the way gifts linger – on and on and on.

When I stand above the brushy canyon, next to the grove of eucalyptus trees, and I both hear and see the afternoon breeze blowing through the branches and leaves, it’s so clear I’m being gifted by the day. The breeze is a gift, and it has no edges. No boundary. On and on. And if the wind slows and stops, that breeze which caressed and held me awhile ago has traveled on to share its big love somewhere else. With someone else.

And there’s slow-dancing. You could say the slow dance ends when the song is over, but is that really true? No, not for me. Something continues, a music, and maybe it’s memory of childhood and fantasy and wildness, and even memory not to be asked. Something shimmers, and it had been a long, long time since I slow-danced. But lately I have.

And this stuff – eating scrambled eggs and avocados; reading crazy, wonderful, unfathomable books with my eyes behind glasses, still able to see. And walks through the city in the sparkling day, and my son calling from Missouri, and the now-dry boogie board in the trunk of the Camry. Even a divorce and endless sadness, gathering kindness and generosity and love out from a whole lifetime lived. And all the wonder about how’d this happen.

And the real chance to be better, even just a little better, when the next slow dance comes around.