We met when the lupines were starting to bloom. The yellow kind tucked within the dunes were the ones I saw first. The color of optimism, love, and hope. You didn't see much of that as a kid, did you? You had to become your own church, your own place of worship. I sit in bed and cry thinking of the defeated look you must have had as a young boy. And I think about you driving through the Southern Utah deserts to escape. I think about your dogs and your pregnant goat, and how safe she must feel giving birth with you, even if it's stillborn. I think about your hands and how the Redwoods and I have a lot in common because we have both felt your loving touch. I think of when I cried in your mouth. A lupine has nine leaflets that rotate around each stem. Nine. The number of karma, patience, and spiritual enlightenment. It’s your birthday too. In tarot, nine is the hermit: you walk through this world, guided by the light of the northern star, looking for home, in yourself. But know, if you are ever in need of a different kind of sanctuary, my body is here, like the dunes, supporting yellow growth.