It’s incredibly quiet today. The sun is shining, the chill breeze is tinkling the neighbor’s wind chimes, but there are no cars zipping up and down the street. I can’t hear sirens on the Interstate or trains behind the county park. The birds and squirrels have eaten the stale bread off the chair in the garden and are probably sunning somewhere out of the wind. The homeostasis is peace. The Christmas mania is undetectable. Steve is tapping away at the keys in the office; I’m tapping away in the bedroom. No one is speaking. I have started reading Anne Lamott’s Traveling Mercies. I go off to the West Coast of the 60s for a bit, entering another woman’s thoughts as quietly as I enter my own. And then I lay the book down and gaze into the dazzling light at the foot of the bed. “Thank you, thank you, thank you” is an appropriate refrain. The sparrows have started chattering in the hedge. “Thank you, thank you, thank you.” The heater begins to purr in the corner. “Thank you, thank you, thank you.” It seems as silent as a blanket of snow, even though the lawn is still a dull green. “Thank you, thank you, thank you.” All is well.