I do hope you’re reading this sitting under that gray oak tree with the massive limbs that stretch in a tangle over you, your picnic blanket, and that bag that you’ve flung carelessly in the grass beside you.  If you lift your eyes just a little off the page, you can probably see today’s pearl blue sky in the distance, and if your eyes were to skim lazily for a cloud, I’m pretty sure you’d find none.

I’m guessing the sun’s not quite high enough to make it “warm” under that tree, in fact, the dappled light that reaches you through the branches feels more like sprinkled cinnamon than anything else.  There’s a little bit of traffic sound in the distance, no escaping that, but the birds nearby are determined in their chirping and twittering at 4-6 second intervals, so there’s a vaguely pleasant soundtrack as you read.

You probably like to stretch out a bit on that blanket, and you probably also wish you’d brought something softer to lean on.  Ferrying a pillow out here along with everything else would look mildly ridiculous, of course, but maybe a rolled up second blanket next time, you think to yourself.  Then you inhale deeply and discover a midmorning yawn hiding in the back of your throat.

When you unconsciously do that thing you always do when you’re reading (touch your hair? hold your chin between your thumb and first finger? rub your right hand three times slowly over your left shoulder?), you get momentarily distracted, wondering when was the last time you washed your hair, or whether it’s time to book a massage for that knot you’re feeling over your collarbone.  (You probably immediately dismiss this thought, as you know you will never book yourself a massage.  Too much to do.)

What I’m trying to say is, I hope you’re comfortable.  And not too cold (dressing in layers helps for this sort of thing).  I know you’re ready to laugh out loud, but not really expecting to.  And probably procrastinating on one really important thing and several that are less important.  And I so appreciate your being here.