Wednesday, October 26, 2016


I'm with Hannah at Agrarian Ales today.  Hannah grew up with my boys, so I've known her since she was little.  Now she is a grown woman in her twenties.   She has all the pieces of a grown-up life; life partner, job, and a thriving artistic practice.  She's known grief and hardship, and she is so, so strong.

The grown-up Hannah retains the Sense of Wonder that little Hannah had, too.  She still revels in the simple beauty of a new flower, still feels and gives pure joy on seeing a friend.  Fifteen years after I met her as a little girl, the young woman still brings me back to these realities of life when I forget them.

It's a cold rainy day today, so we're sitting under an awning at this little brewery.  It's out in the country, on the farm where the hops are grown for the beer that's made here.  We're sitting at a picnic table, on wooden bench seats.  Behind us, a tall kerosene heater hisses with a tall blue flame in a glass tube.  It chases away the cold some, but we still feel the outdoor breeze, still hear the rain pattering down.

The beer is hand-crafted, and it's so fresh, you can smell a constellation of floral notes from the hops, feel the crisp, bitter bite as you take sip after sip.

Hannah, sitting beside me, is reflected in the tall glass tube of the heater.  Her image glows there, behind us, as we huddle over our glasses of beer and plates of home-made pickles.

A musician from Portland plays guitar and sings at the other end of the covered space.  I am in Flow, my senses full from beer, food, music and the pleasures of a cool , rainy breeze.

Hannah's image flickers in the heater's flame, and the real Hannah takes a sip of her beer and smiles at the singer.

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