She isn’t dashing from window to window checking wind speeds at six in the morning. Her kayak lies dry in its rack.

She isn’t standing at her stove, pouring boiling chokecherry jelly into jars; or chopping vegetables at the counter for the homemade soups she lovingly crafts, a recipe rebel.

She isn’t kneeling in front of a rock bed in the yard picking leaves from between their jagged teeth. Nor is she sitting on the back deck laughing at an industrious sparrow taking his morning shower in her birdbath.

She isn’t at her desk. Her laptop lolls a dusty witness proclaiming productivity nil. A half-made puzzle splatters a table, the pieces scattered and isolated like the bits that make up M.

Step lightly across the hardwood floor and peek around the edge of the double door into the bedroom. Is that M curled on the bed, her breathe a reassuring rise and fall? Is she asleep or enclosed in an imagined sanctuary, a sandy alcove on a private stream where she can float in cool water and dream.