In the cool morning, she didn’t know what to look at – the bird on a tree branch, the groundhog skittering over the grass, the baby in the swing, the boy on the couch, the coffee steaming on the counter, the pace of a car racing past on the street, the fact that the sidewalk ends here, in front of my house.

It was a cool morning and the direction was clear. So much work to do. So many people to please.

But none of it mattered. She’d read a book and then another which outlined what was True and Good in Life and none of it had reached her front door. At least not yet.

Working for the money instead of working to serve others. Focus on the details instead of no connection to the details. Letting the wind go around her rather than right through the heart. None of her problems were big problems; they were contemplative ponderings, nothing more, and she knew that at any point she could turn and walk in another direction and she would never walk off a cliff.

But the waiting. Oh the waiting. For a response, for a battle, for a harsh word, for a snarky comment. She knew it was coming around the corner like a tall dark surge of power. And she wasn’t ready for it.

In every job over her life, there had been one person who soured it for all. The rest was good. The hours, the work, the interactions, the learning. All good, except for one. There is always that one, he told her.

And in the dark of the night, she nodded her head.

But in the morning light, she didn’t want there to be the one sour note in a basket of strawberries. She wanted an even-keeled peace of experience, one where she could smile and mean it and where her work was counted for the effort and the ingenuity, not for the personalities behind the scenes.

It was a cool morning. The baby in the swing, the boy on the couch. The groundhog in the yard claiming his space. The work sat before her. There was work to be done.

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