End/Begin

Quit my job today. Eleven years I managed a private foundation that supported teaching artists and organizations who specialize in spreading joy. The name (Jubilation Foundation), the mission (benefiting children via music and movement), and almost complete autonomy were the reasons I stayed so long. However, now it’s time to focus on my own jubilation projects: writing, surfing, painting.

New Year’s Eve is the anniversary of the transition of Emmet Ocean Shé. Fifteen years ago he left his gorgeous malamute-mix body, after teaching me unconditional love by example. To celebrate, I’m passing out dog treats to the local canines.

I brake my bike on the corner of Aalona and Oka. A little girl in a swimsuit, leashed to a little dog, sits on a little cruiser. “May I give a treat to your dog?”

“Okay.” Most kids on island are polite to aunties. I revel in it.

“What’s your dog’s name?”

“Ranger,” she says, adjusting his harness and accepting the delectable.

“It’s duck,” I say, “high class.”

“Thank you.”

“Happy new year,” I pedal away, pleased.

Spread the joy, people. That’s why we’re here.

"Golden Years" by Shé, 18" x 24" acrylic on canvas board, 2021
Golden Years by Shé, 18″ x 24″ acrylic on canvas board, 2021

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