My mother believes a married couple should keep no secrets. But that’s impossible. We all have secrets inside our skin and sometimes we can’t even bring them to the surface in the quiet of our empty rooms.

It’s ok. Part of the allure of everyday life is retreating into secret worlds that no one, or just one person, knows about.

There is a secret no one will tell you when you are asking for it. It is that a secret is a jewel in the corner of your pocket. It is something just for you in a world where everyone knows your business.

My favorite kind of secret is the one that overtakes me in the still of the afternoon. Maybe I’ve been picking blueberries with my children or maybe they’re away somewhere and I am tasting the air around my backyard swing.

Maybe I’m walking the freedom trail, gravel rolling beneath my uphill and my downhill and maybe it’s a song I haven’t heard for years but now it’s playing.

It’s the way I look at pictures taken just a few years ago but which are now distant memories and then try to see the same gleam in my children’s eyes.

The secret is that a moment is the jewel and it eclipses your notice faster than it arrives.

The secret is that it’s not really the answer any of us wants; it’s the peace along the path, the ability to live the questions, as my friend Rilke wrote to the young poet so many years ago. In living the questions, we eventually live our way into the answers, and by then, it doesn’t even matter what the answer is – we’ve accepted the path of the everyday and we’ve lived into it and we’ve been alive.


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