That brief window of time when your coffee (or tea!) is just perfectly cool enough to drink, and just perfectly warm enough to still be fresh and to slide all the way down your esophagus spreading good cheer, hit your stomach, and radiate in thin lines of oh thank you caffeine.
Waking up to find a dog who missed you while sleeping, who is so happy to see you she wriggles with glee while shoving her nose in your armpit, and then the other dog is on your other side doing the same thing, demanding to be petted and told “who is the best, the very best, why it’s you!” because it’s a brand-new day and they’re excited to share it with their favorite human.
Slipping downstairs to turn the heat on for the day and being greeted by a mad tortoiseshell cat, who demands affection and babying (literally being picked up, cradled on her back, and spoken to in a specific singsong whisper) before you are allowed to retreat towards your coffee.
A brush of rain on the roof, soft drops presaging later downpour, but you’ll be able to come home, peel off your running togs, take a warm shower, and slip into dry clothes.
(Especially socks. Dry socks are a boon and a blessing.)
A line of cedars moving their arms thoughtfully, like a class of dancers listening to the teacher and fixing movements in short-term memory.
Making your own bed, with your own flannel sheets. The bed nobody who made you feel bad was ever allowed to sleep in, the bed you bought with your own money, the bed you put together with your own hands, the bed that has everything you like and nothing you don’t.
Getting your running headphones plugged in for recharge on the first try.
Glass apples ranked along a windowsill, some holding memories and others just beautiful, and nobody knows the difference except you.
The quiet of a house where your children are still sleeping. Knowing they are safe, knowing that for the moment they have no worries, no cares.
For a few minutes, everything is all right.
And now to finish the coffee, and to hope that you–whoever, wherever you are–have some peace today too.