That's my boy.

I woke up this morning to my sweet boy dachshund, Bodie, moving up through the covers to give me a couple of kisses on the nose. His tail rapped happily against the pillows as I praised him, then he went back down and balled up under my legs, and we both snoozed for another hour.

I have expansive hopes for 2011, but that episode with my boy is a microcosm of all of them. Three-hundred and sixty-five days of being happy to be here and being thankful for everyone I love would make the year an unqualified success.

It would also be a marked change from 2010, particularly the latter half, when I nearly destroyed everything. I have no illusions; kisses from a pup and a sunny outlook alone won’t set right everything I knocked askew. I have a lot of work to do, and a lot of people who deserve the best amends I can possibly make.

But I’m here. I’m ready to do it. Every day is a gift, a certainty that was reinforced in the waning days of 2010, when one of the best men I’ve ever known, the Rev. John Franklin, died in a hunting accident.

Life is fragile. Breathtakingly fragile.

So here’s to 2011, and to all of us. May peace and love settle in where you live.

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