Mibes: Good to see you again. How are you?
Me: Feeling better thanks, but still coughing. You'd better not hug me.
Mibes: (hugging me) I'm pretty resilient.
Me: Good to see you, too. How's it going?
Mibes: I've missed you, but I think we've both needed some down time. It's given me a chance to enjoy some quiet moments.
Me: Down time. That fits right in with a quotation I've saved. (tapping on his phone) "Wisdom is knowing when to have rest, when to have activity, and how much to have of each. Finding them in each other--activity in rest and rest in activity--is the ultimate freedom."
Mibes: Nice one. Who said it?
Me: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in his book Celebrating Silence.
Mibes: Sounds a bit like the serenity prayer about accepting things you can't change and changing things you can. That mix of the two.
Me: Found it. "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference." Reinhold Niebuhr.
Mibes: Speaking of celebrating, what are your Christmas plans?
Me: Some music, some reading. I may listen to midnight mass on the radio. You?
Mibes: I'm invited to a Christmas open house. Lots of food. Some friends and of course some people I don't know. Maybe some singing, depending on when I get there, but like you, I'll also enjoy some music when I'm alone.
Me: Will you think about stars and angels singing and a couple who couldn't find a place to stay and a baby born in a stable? And what all that's about?
Mibes: When I hold babies at Christmastime I do sometimes think of those things.
Me: I hope you will tonight. Hold a baby at the party. Think of angels and stars and miracles.
Mibes: I'll do it if I can. But it's not hard for me to think of miracles.
Me: Why's that?
Mibes: Certain people in my life. You, for example.
Me: I'm a miracle?
Mibes: You are to me.
Me: I don't feel too miraculous.
Mibes: Well you've been sick. I get it. But your life, here and now, in this moment. It's a miracle whether you're healthy or sick. Because you're here. There's only one of you. Seven billion people on the planet and only one of you.
Me: 7.2 billion. And there's only one of you.
Mibes: Two miracles and a third, too, and that's our friendship.
Me: Aw, Mibes. You're awfully easy to love.
Mibes: Merry Christmas, my friend. I love you, too.
Me: Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas, Mibes. Merry Christmas to you.