On the way to work this morning, three things in particular made me grateful for this life. (1) In the shopping center where I stopped on an errand, there is a restaurant called Hella Halal. (My daughter would say Hecka Halal, but I like the rich consonance of the original.) (2) Just now, as I turned into the church’s street, a fire engine was coming my way with its siren and lights whirling, so I pulled over next to a preschool, and thus enjoyed the lovely sight of the children running toward the fence, hands over their ears, faces alight, to watch it go by.

And (3) all along the route there have been trees in their autumn glory.