My usual walk is to Lake Mansfield, through the neighborhood we call “The Hill.” I occasionally see people but not many. It’s a quiet neighborhood, and even quieter along the lake until you get to the beach (busy this time of year). But this morning we needed milk so I walked down the hill to Main Street, to the Berkshire Coop. I had other on-foot errands (dropping boxes of cereal the no one likes at the food pantry and returning hangers to the drycleaners) I could do. More important, I saw two friends for the first time in months. Diane has a gift for being outside her house at important times: the first time she introduced herself, she told me about a yoga class that turned out to be transformative; later, she was getting out of her car one early evening as I walked slowly up the hill. It was the day after I told my then-husband I wanted a divorce and sadness had struck. I was realizing just what a change I had undertaken, and how lonely the road might be. Meeting her that evening was a bit of serendipity I was grateful for and will, I hope, never forget.

Today, I again learned something from our encounter, brief as it was (unlike the post-divorce conversation, which quickly moved from Castle Street to Diane

karen christensen's corona typewriter on t s eliot's desk

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