Dear Priya,

In the Great Smoky Mountains in the middle of the night, thrashing and spiraling, unable to sleep I left the tent and retrieved my notebook from the car, guided only by moonlight. I sat writing, pouring my anxiety onto the pages, looking up at the moon, listening to the rustling trees and grasses. Only later did I learn that in my moment of stillness, Vene was in panic. Worried I had left, or would be hurt. But there was stillness in Vermont, sitting on a hill watching the sunset, eating our new favorite dish of savory rice porridge made on a single burner stove, talking about the future, about possibility, wrapped in one another.