1. The budding amaryllis on my kitchen windowsill, the way it bends toward the light each day, the swiftness of its rising stalks.
2. My grandmother's return from the hospital, safe, stronger.
3. An eight-year old whose violent cough has lessened this week, who can now breathe herself throughout the night without fighting respiratory convulsions.
4. The white and purple speckled orchid my mother gave me for my birthday, its seven blossoms filling the curved stem beneath them like migrating butterflies resting before resuming flight.
5. A friend whose comment in a discussion forum ("... breathing is so wonderful. I, myself am an oxygen addict! Can't get enough of the stuff!") made me laugh today. (Thanks, Kat.)
6. This quote from William James: "I am done with great things and big plans, great institutions and big success. I am for those tiny, invisible loving human forces that work from individual to individual, creeping through the crannies of the world like so many rootlets, or like the capilary oozing of water, yet which, if given time, will rend the hardest monuments of human pride."
7. Entering my name in this name generator and being given the honorable moniker, "The Bitter Swami". (Black humor is the best humor, and laughing at oneself is ten times as restorative as laughing at someone else.)
8. The gold of our cat's eyes, the slide of his fur against my fingertips.
9. The silence--blessed silence--of our home right now, both girls asleep upstairs as I sit up and wait for Scott to come home from his work at school, the push and bluster of the wind against the house, the quiet hum of the computer.
10. The glitter of the beaded dragonflies I've been learning to make, hanging in the kitchen window like a promise of the summer to come, a promise of lighter air and singing creekwater and quickened hope.