We make things

Just as I am beginning to finish poems again,

just as I have decided to knit my sweater,

just as we are in the middle of spackling the wooden cubes we built and designed last spring,

just as we are getting ready to prime and paint them Mayan blue and dove grey,

just as I am learning to make sourdough rye,

just as Tim has started a blog,

just as our leeks are establishing themselves in the flowerbeds,

just as I seem to have developed abs,

Tim comes home from his workshop in his parents' basement with a present for me. Appropriately, a sewing box. Made of pale stiff spruce and hard, purplish walnut, with a Japanese lid that slides to seal itself, and American dove-tailed corners. Clunky and graceful at once.

It delights me.

We had been watching each other slow to a stop. It is the first thing in a long time unmistakably stamped with all the specifics of Tim's consideration, skill, and taste, and there is nothing unsure about it. We have no more fear of becoming stagnant these days. We are reading and writing. We are taking in and putting out. We are learning and producing. (This must be the way to become at home in the world, like building a fortress of cereal boxes to establish one's presence at the breakfast table.)