I wanted to write about the urgency I felt at 6:30 a.m., looking out to unexpected stars, one slipping below the western horizon, the urgency to do something fine and new as the first week of the New Year slipped away, the cat waking from the foot of the bed where the old Ohio Star quilt kept my feet warm through the cold night. I wanted to write about the sadness of the Christmas tree last night, its last hours in the warm house, the lights bright and clear, and the few ornaments strewn on its young branches. I wanted to have my birthday back, Epiphany, when instead of quietly thinking about my years and the passing of time, I listened obsessively to the news reports of insurrection and violence in Washington. I wanted to write something so memorable about the first Christmas we’ve spent alone in our nearly 42 years together, a small prime rib roast in the oven instead of a turkey for all who sat our table year after year, two foil crowns, and yet I don’t want it to be memorable. Wanted to write about the images of my grandchildren skating in their respective cities, two on a lake near their home, and two on a frozen creek, the courage it takes for a child to push away from a parent on metal blades. (I wish I had a river.) I have this urgency. I have the weeks ahead, spinning out from the reel of the years, I have the words, the yearning for a bonfire with all the branches from last week’s windstorm, every person I love around it, all of us singing into the darkness, without fear or any kind of grief, that star rising instead of setting, ash settling into my hair like a blessing.