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The Day’s Delight: If/Then

If you make a wish on the first pussy willow to bud, it will be a warm and glorious summer, and you can run naked as a child through the woods, never getting lost, always finding wild strawberries, and listening to the secret murmurings of bees.

If you attend a friend’s familiars for a week and allow yourself to bow to their feline fickleness, flowers will appear when you least expect them: gladiolas and daffodils and some kind of pink-belled delicacy climbing up above the rest, astonishing you with kindness for kindness.

And if you take off your pride and clip back your hair and play Simon Says for a half hour and no one laughs at anyone else and everyone sweats and jumps-lunges-leaps-reaches, your soul will suddenly remember it lives inside the loveliest body, the most marvelous house.

And if you dive into a shallow pool when the moon has risen, and you close your eyes and hold your breath, you’ll come through on the other side: just as real as this, everything alive and glistening, fresh as a fish, and ready for spring.

If you let nice things be nice, they will be.


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