Everything I Need

We have one car. My husband drives it to his job in the suburbs. I walk my son to school.

The walk takes about 20 minutes, depending on how often we stop to exclaim about a squirrel, the wind, a leaf, the clouds, a neighbor’s new Halloween decoration (scared/not scared), an open sidewalk gate.

Sometimes, P decries the far walk. I have worried about his morale for school. I have felt lacking. I have schemed about how to buy a house closer to school, which house is the perfect and best: Can we play baseball in the backyard? Is it fenced in for the next dog we adopt? Is it not too big and not too small? Is it built on elevated ground? And so on. I have wished for the abundance to buy—asked the universe to provide—a reliable second car that I am delighted to drive each day.

As September has faded, so has the re-newness of walking to school for P. We touch our feet to concrete and to soil. We look up and remark on the blueness of the sky or the nearness of rain clouds or the sun in our eyes. We argue about or calmly discuss the benefits of wearing a jacket on a cool fall morning. We laugh, a lot. A real, whole lot. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed more, with such unmitigated joy and openness.

I have everything I need to walk P to school every day. We have umbrellas that work, well enough, for when it rains. We have jackets and coats and hats and mittens for when the wind is sharp or just chilled. We have boots that keep our feet warm and dry and that are not too inelegant or sloppy for comfort. We have able-bodied mobility to carry us to and from the school.

When I walk home by myself after dropping P off, I breathe. I am part of something, this school attendance process thing. I scan the beauty of our neighborhood: the spacious, groomed properties; the curved streets with parkways that move in stride and with mature trees aligned in satisfying grace; the varied house styles whose characters span many generations and social eras.

I think grateful thoughts for all I have, even when our bank accounts are dipping low, as I now cultivate abundance and know we have everything we need and more.

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