I was in New York for five glorious days, now I’m here for this glorious day. Coming back to the labyrinth after having been gone was lovely. It is familiar and not familiar at the same time.

The rocks are still mostly in the same places I remember. The ten feet in front of the entrance to the labyrinth is now crisscrossed with mole tracks, so these funny mound-y, ridgy sort of things curve around in front of my approach. They make me smile. The day is quiet and overcast. The air is still and crisp. I can feel the moisture in the air as I breathe it in, cool on the throat, smooth and clean as I inhale through my nose.

My toes are chilled. My cheeks red from the cold and that icy-hot sensation that comes from cold. Mass in Blue popping in and out of my head as I walk. The mind surprisingly quiet, or maybe not surprisingly. I see my thoughts, I love my thoughts, but for now, I simply find them amusing. I am here. Now.

I was in New York.

I was walking through pouring rain with new-found friends, laughing with joy as the lightning flashed and the thunder crashed and the rain pounded down,  my shoes filling with water as I waded across the streets swollen with rain.

I was laughing with joy as I swayed on the subway with other friends, watching our stop rush passed us because we’ve gotten on the Express, rather than the Local, much to the delight of my college-best-friend’s eight-year-old daughter.

I’m listening with quiet awe to this same small child sing a melodically and rhythmically complicated song beautifully.

I’m feeling my hip catch causing me to quietly yelp with a jolt of pain as I walk the streets, realizing that I’m going to need to slow down.

I’m laughing full belly laughs with the Nancy Quartet in a bar near Lincoln Center.

I’m enjoying the steady, easy companionship of Stacey.

I’m singing on stage, completely in the moment, feeling everyone on stage completely in the now in that way that always happens for me when I sing. Completely cued into the sight of Elena’s conducting, Will’s broad smile over the piano, the sound of the drums and the bass and the piano thrumming and our voices rising and falling following the melodic and rhythmic lines.

New York is exhilarating, Santa Cruz is exhilarating.

I am exhilarated.