Let’s start at the very beginning, A very good place to start

December 20

Practice day.  Singing in the rain as I walk Bruno around Beaver Lake.  Come thou fount of every blessing.  Favorite cover is Sufjan Stevens.

December 21

It’s the solstice and official day one with Betsy at her house, in the dark. We are walking to the apple orchard with the dogs.  She is worried we won’t get a spectacular sunrise because we are above the horizon, surrounded by mountains. For us, the sun won’t break into the sky at the official time of 7:36. If we really wanted to see the sun, we would have to wait and watch until it crawled above the mountains. She has a metal plate in her shoulder that is a holding her bones and muscles in place as they heal.  We talk about pain and how it is something to endure but how tired it makes a person.

What song will we sing?  Morning has broken by Cat Stevens of course.

What I hear is Betsy’s voice singing.  I hear myself too.  I am trying to keep up and stay on key but only the smile comes through.  Isn’t it funny how you can hear a smile?

Something about this pushes into the pain.  Breath, and the space between the breath.  This is our life dance, teasing death.  We are choosing this moment fully.  I love my friend.

December 22

I am at the old Capital Building with Bruno.  We hear loud sounds of construction, sirens and city workers.  Also little birds in bushes.  What song have I chosen?  Three Little Birds by Bob Marley.  What surprised me were the tears and the shame of crying in a public place.  I turn my back to the city and sing into a parking lot.  Then I am finished with my sweet song, melody pure and true.

December 23

Woke to a text from Simon.  He’s on the road driving north and will join me in the car.  What song?  Don’t Stop Believing by Journey.  I am at my kitchen table and can see the light coming.  David Earl is between me and the computer as I type this.  I can face east on my back porch and will go out and sing in exactly 10 minutes.  7:36 a.m.

December 24

Banzen.  This day is for Banzen.  30 years ago in the hallways of Pinewood Elementary is where I met a boy that brought a hurt bird to school in a shoebox.  His text of Merry Christmas is what brings me to the time of 7:04.  This morning I have a crew that wants to join.  I ask Banzen what song he would like for us to sing?  Peace Train by Cat Stevens.  And so it will be.

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