I say goodbye to Penny who had come for coffee and stayed for three hours of sharing.  Tears dry on my cheeks, testifying to the pureness of our connection.  We’ve each survived so much; we’ve seen each other slog through and endure chaos, catastrophe, and calamity.  We’ve held each other through joy and forgiven misunderstandings.  Sister leopard, go with love and a host of watchful angels.

I’ve every intention of hammering out four hours of work but a phone call lures me to the Unity Temple for the Evolving Magazine Conscious Living Fair.  My friend Aneal meets me at the parking garage and says, Jill Dutton will be so happy that you stopped by.  We make our way down to the crowded room, row after row of massage therapists, crystal peddlers, jewelry makers, and other folks who claim their wares or services will soothe my soul.  I think of the client status sheet waiting for me with its page after page of pending tasks and admit that soul-soothing could help.

Jill Dutton, the owner of Evolving Magazine, is glad to see me.  We briefly embrace, then Aneal and I move away to let her do what organizers of successful conventions do to maintain the pace.  Aneal takes pictures and even makes  me stage one, a tight close-up of me reaching for a bracelet that purportedly focuses one’s shakras.  Later, after we’ve had coffee and just before my to-do list draws me away, we stand in front of a basket of stones.  Aneal says, Which one do you like?  and I reach out, curling my hand around a black stone with rough contours nestled in a pile of  smooth, polished brown river rocks.

Aneal buys it for me and slips it into my hand.  I look at the word engraved on the stone and say, Is it a noun or a verb?  Aneal touches my arm and says, For you, it’s a verb.

Later, in my office, I wrestle with a few manageable disasters then finally close and lock the door to head for home.  I feel the black stone tucked into a pocket of my little crossbody bag.  An unwitting smile creeps across my face.  I get the message.

It’s the twenty-fifth day of the thirty-first month of My [Never-Ending] Year Without Complaining.  Life continues.


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