When I was a very young woman I met someone who left an indelible mark on my life. She was a teacher, an artist, a mother, and for a time, my confidant. I think of her when I'm doing the things that I enjoy most in my life, like creating something with my hands, working in my garden, speaking frankly to my children, listening to really good music. She was complicated, wise, and open to the world. I lost touch with her sometime during college, and when I learned that she passed away earlier this year, my heart sank. I guess I always thought I'd meet her again, someday, and I wish that I would have thanked her for putting me on my path. I'm thinking of her especially today, on her birthday.