Life takes you to the sea after a rainy Christmas day. You sit on a bench, tired but happy, a spectator to life’s beauty and madness, where you leave the world alone to do what it does. The sky flaunts its magnificence and then it fades to other meanings. A young family tests the water, a child laughs a soulful laugh. This day you feel much older than you are, more reflective, more given to bouts of elation and beautiful sadness. You think, sometimes life is this way, moments of quiet wonder replaced by some chaos in your head, or in your heart, and back again to being in the moment, to a flock of birds gliding across the sky, to that child running towards a future that you hope is kind and nurturing. Then you sit a while on the bench with the one you love, sharing a sandwich, and you are glad that there is comfort in ordinary things that don’t require you to be brave or beautiful. And then you go home, wherever that is, a quiet shade where your soul can breathe, a nondescript room that makes time stop, to a place that loves you back. And you linger there for a long time, twilight glides across the city, and your last thoughts are about gratitude and beginnings and life’s great continuous unfolding.