The moon is round and bright, climbing up through the in the branches of the quivering Norway birch outside my studio window. I’ve grown used to that tree; to watching it bend in storms, and flutter in the slightest breeze. To the way, when the autumn comes, it turns pure gold before coyly letting the season’s leaves fall to the ground, laying bare her silver branches to the gathering cold and shortening days that winter always brings. I’ve grown used to the way my studio sill, from which I watch that tree, is always cluttered with jars filled paint brushes. With shells. With small canvases to paint (and often the cat finds here way there too.) I’ve grown used to the wild roses that bloom beside the front door. And also to the dirt road that carries us to and from our house. To the ritual of walking down it with the boys. To finding wild berries: raspberries, grapes, blackberries, Eastern prickly gooseberries and also elderberries that are still blooming in clouds of lacy white. Today, Clover went running out ahead of us, then veered off when she smelled something in the hedgerow, and for the sake of all of us would not return until she’d flushed out every living thing: startled red-wing blackbirds, small brown rabbits, a flock of gold finches that lifted like yellow sparks. I’ve grown used to the sloping grassy hill at the back of the house where the boys sat today facing each other on beach towels warming in the sun after playing until their lips were blue in the pool (the blue plastic kind that stands improbably 36 inches above ground, and is by far the best investment we’ve made this summer because Sprout is learning how to swim of his own accord, begging to be in the pool more than he is out of it.) It is the hill where my book began. The hill that, when everything feels like it may just be falling apart, I’ve gone to lie upon countless times, face upterned to the sky with my heart beating uncertainly in the boat of my ribs, until the steady pull of the earth rightens me. I’ve felt the earth spinning from that place. I’ve watched shooting stars fall from the heavens there, and played with both my boys when they were babies. Today I’m grateful for this last month here among familiar things, and also for this small ritual of a paragraph of noticing daily.