“When morning come to Morgantown, the merchants roll their awnings down” Joni Mitchell’s bell-like voice and odd guitar tunings wake my day as the early morning light comes through the blinks on my bedroom window and I am magically transported back to our small apartment in the West Village in 1975. Ernestine is still sleeping in the living room as I sit at my drawing board doing what I cannot remember now more than 40 years later. When we are that young, everything has a sense of urgency and immediacy…we’ve got to do it NOW, while the thought and the urge are seizing us. There is no sense of history to measure our days against…only what we want and what we need right now! And this morning I remember that life and all of the people who were in it and who I miss very much. There are people who struggle through their lives without ever knowing that they are loved and because of that have never learned to love another and that is a dreadful and terrible thing. Then there are those who, like me, have been loved throughout their lives but not maybe as we wished we had. That is the kind of person I think I once was. Stumbling through my life, assuming that what I was given I was entitled to and that it was never enough. Always wanting more and not really every appreciating what I already had. And then I began to lose that life as she began to lose her life to cancer (I don’t dignify the word with a capital C) and in that awful sense of loss, loneliness and despair I discovered a new life that constantly surprise me with the gifts I am given, I have very few material belongings and I am not terribly financially secure…but I have what I need and if I can stop myself from comparing what I have to what others have…I am happy. Very happy. Not for who I might be, but for who I have become and the love I am able to give others and that surrounds me as another day of promise shines through my window and illuminates my being. I have no regrets about where I have been but I am bathed in the sacred light of where I am. Where God wants me to be. It has taken my 70 years to understand this passage and flow of life: that by listening and responding to God’s call , I am being who I was destined to one day become. That to love and to be loved is our greatest gift and the reason we were created. And I am grateful.