7:20 am – I am still sitting here staring at the fog and listening to the staccato of the rain on the metal roof. It has a rhythm and a musical quality to it. Combined with the morning fog and the solitary trickles of water meandering down the window. The birds settling on the vines beside the feeder awaiting their morning treats. The cats watching intently to see if one of the small finches or chickadees settles to the ground within pouncing distance.

Slowly, the cats turn to the door as the floor pops and settles under my feet. I hear them stirring in the heated crawl spaces dislodging themselves from the dry blankets and brushing against the ductwork. More birds descent from the brush and trees. A song of chirps, tweets and coos begins to feel the air.

The pink glow of the morning sun attempts to burn through the fog chasing away the purple predawn gloom with its light. Across the field, a kestrel takes flight, climbing above the fallow fields in search of a meal.

Somewhere an engine roars to life and warms the interior of a car and drives the shroud of mistiness from the windows. A transmission grinds in protest before succumbing to the pressure of a frustrated driver. Gravel flies as wheels seek traction in a heated spinning rush of a late occupant of the car.

Behind me, I hear a shuffling and a stirring. Perhaps even a bit of a snore and cough. I am reminded that I am not alone this morning. My niece is staying with me for a few days. Then the thoughts of the morning quietude are replaced with thoughts of what do eleven year olds eat for breakfast? Do they eat breakfast? Do they know how to cook their own?

Any thoughts are welcome relief from the mindless wanderings of my mind through the night. Wishes and thoughts of changing things, making things brighter and different in a friend’s life. It is that time of morning that I resign myself to the fact that life goes forward the way fate has predetermined regardless of my sleepless appeals for relief from higher powers and sentient, benevolent deities. My night spent in thought and humble supplication drifts into another day of accepting the course of life and my inability to wave a magic wand over loved ones and ease their pain and drive away the nightmares.

In a ritual of futility, I pour out the last of a pot of coffee, I bring to an end the flickering flame of the oil lamp and grin at the irony of its scented vespers rising to be dispersed by the ceiling fan. Then I resign myself once more to the thought free oblivion that brings with it rest and comfort. I enter that place in my mind before a thought is even formed; before a fear can even arise and give birth to anxiety. Rest will come in hour long fits of tossing. Fear of missing an update or a report will keep me just there beneath the surface of that veil that separates this waking world from that of dream like fairies and apparitions that alternately soothe and vex.

I will wish and hope and I will believe for you because so much of me has begun to doubt. I will hold forth to my wavering soul the words of the author of the epistle: faith is the substance of things hoped for. I will present that building block, that raw material that it may be taken and crafted and woven through the fabric of reality and create a miracle of health and vigor.

These are the things I mean when I whisper, “you know.” This is what it means when, with breaking voice and water glistened eyes, I ask you to tell everyone I am thinking of them. This is what it means for me to be strong for you and here for you.