Let’s start with ten minutes. That’s when the pizza will be ready.
On the flip side, staring into the light of the oven, are ten years of wisdom. It has been that long since our daughter graced us with her birth, though everything about her–especially the newly colored purple tresses–screams that it’s been fifteen or sixteen.
After that, there are ten tracks. Usually the same songs that play from the time we leave the house until we pull into the parking lot, the space, the drive. Literally, everywhere seems just that many tracks away.
Double that to bring us back home today after spending just ten dollars. Reward dollars, to be exact, “free” money waiting to be spent and, equally, ten points earned at our favorite place for lunch.
Finally, we’re home and there are ten things left to do on the list before we celebrate the New Year. Dishes, laundry, Craig’s-listing, and home improvements: Things that will be forgotten until the morning, or the next day, or the one after that.
Instead, we uncap less than ten colors and make ourselves messy with the work of painting our presence, leaving behind our impressions of this world, captured on canvases.
All this amid the bark and bated (or is it baited) breath of ten-month-old puppies, just waiting to be hand-fed their meal of the evening and their treats as the ball drops in less than ten hours.
I remember the days where we’d trick our girl into watching the live show in Times Square, wrap her in this season of childhood deception so she’d be in bed by ten. And now, I can’t imagine the late hours without her laughter, her wit, and her exhausted antics.
All this, and the timer’s gone off. Those pizza minutes elapsed in the writing. The things on this list–count them, there are ten (now eleven)–hold me to this space, this time and this place, keep me in the now. Fully present. My present to you.