Tonight I have made myself a cup of ginger tea and brought it to bed with me. Two floors below me, my laundry spins and spins in the dryer.

Tonight my bedside lamp has decided that its switch will no longer work. Thank goodness for the lamp on the other side of the bed.

Tonight part of me wants to write about rancor and frustration. But the better part of me wants to write about settling down, about quieting. My passport wings its way toward Chicago, along with my old passport (issued just before my nineteenth birthday) and bank statements and pay stubs--all documentation of the fact that I can support myself during a year in England and thus should be issued an Academic Visitor for More Than Six Months visa. Completing and mailing my application was one of the day's highlights, though not nearly as high as dining with my flaming-sworded friend and her excellent mother.

Some nights are just harder than others. Tonight I talked out my anger about a mid-evening confrontation, talked it out until it started to become energy, took that energy out to the garage and got the garbage to the curb, brought that energy back in to handle the laundry. Tonight I might have gone walking to the prairie again, had I not been waylaid.

But even later tonight, I am calming, calming, thinking of the prairie last night: the new grass, the old thorns, the interwoven rise of green covering the burnt-over soil. Tonight I am suddenly so drowsy that to write about calming brings on sleep itself.