Let it be known that I am not one to become so absorbed in nature's intricacies and minutia that I ignore the broad, simple glories of perfect days arriving unannounced and unexpected. If I'm engrossed in the wing venation of a wasp or the exact nature of a leaf's margin, and it's an afternoon golden and balmy served up like a sweet apple on a silver platter, I will reach for that apple.

The nights this week have been glorious. A bright, waning moon and temperatures at dawn as low as 48° (9°C) made for cozy, profound sleeping. Awakening as the first light glowed in the east, sharp coldness sent me springing from the sleeping platform right into my jogging shoes, and within moments I was running through ghostly fog, water droplets coalescing in my beard. Every day this week friendly breakfast fires provided mugs of steaming mint tea, and my skillet-size cucumber "omelets" made with fresh dill and jalapeños always baked to a handsome brownness. I'd work in the garden as the sun burned off the fog, and then on the Internet I'd find my tasks pleasing and fulfilling. Sometimes I'd just wander around checking on seedlings, seeing whether the cuttings were taking root, and making sure the potted plants were healthy. Balmy, late afternoons were occupied with odd jobs and listening to All Things Considered on Public Radio, and then as the chill grew moment by moment I'd read into the night as the crickets grew ever more silent.

I am grateful for it all, grateful to be at a peak of sensitivity, grateful to be healthy, and to have discovered how hard manual labor mingled with creative thinking and freely given service to the broader community produce in me something like happiness. I am so grateful for everything that when I pray I never pray asking for favors, only to give thanks to the Great Unknown that puts the is in is.

Golden days, golden days...