I wake from deep sleep after 8am. Good dreams drift away like fog before I can wrap my hands around them. I look out the window, and joy rises in me, full and light. It is the eleventh day of my 16-day holiday. I stand beside the kitchen sink and know I have fully returned to myself. Have I been gone for weeks? Years? It took ten days to shed the angst of having to check in throughout the day to answer questions. Even during the times of year when I take weekends off, it is not long enough for me to stop “feeling” people out there needing me, students and educators both. Now on Day Eleven I am free of it. I can feel the difference as the day unfolds. I am not in a hurry. I feed the birds, haul buckets of collected water from the sink and tub out to the young bougainvillea. I make my “liver flush” drink, lemon and garlic and olive oil in the blender, brew my fenugreek tea, feed the cats al fresco. I sip my drinks in the courtyard, talk on the phone for a long time to dear old friends who summer in San Francisco. I slide in yoga, too, quiet and easy, before I need to leave. I stay mindful, don’t rush, eat yellow melon and Brazil nuts from my purple glass bowl. When Audrey drives up, I bring my breakfast with me and eat it in the car. When she brings me home again after we have run around in the hot, humid afternoon, I eat gazpacho and slices of tofu on the patio and let myself read my Valdemar novel while the sun lowers in the sky. I water and feed the birds again in the almost dark because I am leaving early in the morning. A huge frog hops across the pavement, and I hope he is the same one I met before, am cheered to think he may have survived since spring. Later, I even take the time to make garlic and beet goat yogurt dip, and after my shower I eat it with potato chips and watch Parenthood until midnight. I can’t say how good it feels, how grateful I am to have come to this point. The difference is subtle, wordless, impossible to define. But today I have more room inside my skin, and being present becomes effortless. Why, I wonder, would I ever want to be anywhere else?