Dark chocolate cake: not the best, not the worst, but the one with me today. Indulgence, or necessity, I hadn't planned on this purchase. But the shop was right next to the hardware store where I bought 50 pounds of "ice melt." AIt was a kind of indulgent gesture of enjoyment in the face of my changing, aging body. Am I doomed to die thinking, "whoops, I wish I had eaten more cake"? So much of my life has been spent counting calories, working out, pumping iron and a lot less has been simply trusting my own longings, and intuitive desire to taste, to savor for my own personal enjoyment. And I am trying to teach myself something new: a healthy enjoyment of the opportunities I have in my current situation for expressing a moment of sheer delight, and minimizing the guilt. An opportunity to short circuit my sense of shame around the circumstances of my current life to deal directly with my inaccurate belief that I am a bad person for eating chocolate cake on a icy Monday afternoon in November...and that bad people don't deserve pleasure. Or that I am a person who still hasn't managed to follow the rules or use her common sense when it comes to my family history of heart disease and diabetes. I brought this piece of cake back home, where my son was working on his MacBook. As we shared it, he commented on the pleasing moistness of the creation. I explained that this was the first piece cut out of the cake, so naturally, we could expect it to be moist. That's when I noticed the cake itself, instead of being caught in my emotional baggage about eating cake for lunch without any explanation, excuse or justification. I confess: it was an impulse buy, totally unplanned, shared with someone I love, who loves me...on the first day of the week of Thanksgiving, after teaching an inspiring Yoga class, and before working for the rest of the afternoon. And I am so grateful for that opportunity, with a full set of my own teeth, and the ability to taste the subtle flavors, to smell the aroma, to look at some of my own issues again, with a measure of compassion and gentle humor, perhaps healing some part of myself that is overly, unnecessarily identified with an obsolete past. I hugged the man who is my son. This man who is so carefully respectful of waiting until I have the first bite. And then I went back outside, to sprinkle kosher salt on the icy front sidewalk and steps, as fresh snow drifted around my Sorels.