there’s a fast day and a slow day and the days in between that don’t distinguish themselves at all; there are the blown leaves and the leaves on the trees and the buds of April that promise more leaves, built in part from the bones of last year’s leaves, frayed and dusty on the flowerbeds where we hadn’t gotten to them before the snow fell. There are the ingredients in the pantry and the leftovers in the fridge and the idea of a menu for tonight, the fresh and the sharp and the salty and the unctuous, waiting to be brought forth into the kitchen and plated and put before the children. The children may sigh, may exclaim with delight, may simply fork great wads of whatever into their mouths as they tell each other one of three things: there are the boring days, there are the stressful days, there are the exciting and interesting days.

there are bruises on their shins, evidence of a tree limb climbed; there are the moments in movies that make them recoil and cover their eyes (at first, sadness, later, ew, kissing); there are the notebooks scattered around the house with half-formed paragraphs, the fossil evidence of a particular set of brain waves on a particular day three years ago, the letter forms no different than those in clay at Mycenae, but less likely to survive the millennia, if no less heartfelt.

There are birthdays divisible by 5, during which one feels a dusky presentiment of mortality; there are birthdays divisible by 3, during which one invites friends out for drinks and says “we should really do this more often”; there are birthdays divisible by 4 that pass largely without notice, the day slipping past like a sedan on a broad avenue while you are waiting for the light to change.

There are squirrels; there are crows; there are raccoons. There are oaks, birches and apples. There are pains in your joints: those you should push through for strength of will and muscle, those you should respect and back off from before the injury they herald, those ghostly lingering ligament tweaks from injuries years gone by that will never entirely go away. There is meat, milk, and pareve; there is halal, fish on Fridays, and Taco Tuesdays. You are allowed to pick any or all of these, though particular choices matter and people will notice; they will nod, or blink, or frown.

There is the way you have come thus far and there are the footprints in which you stand and there is the blank space ahead of you, a beach or a woodland according to your faith, and the next step you take will be the next footprint, tomorrow’s now, and today having become the inevitable and fixed history that brought you there, your daily choice among sets of three the only moment that matters.