Someone smiled, with the tiniest tinge of sadness, and asked after reading the last issue, “Neil, you’re going to write about the things you like, right?”

I admit my list of things I don’t like was cynical, cold, childish, petty, slightly piggish. You will spy a few inconsistencies from my hate list but… as the French are probably fond of saying, C’est la vie. Or as the Cree say, Such is life.

There are things, bien sur, I really, really like which I can’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t, shouldn’t and won’t mention here. After all, there are Elders and children present.

So, I say:

These are the things I like, these are the things I like…

I like the night. Because the night…

I like good dreams. Sometimes they come true.

I like hugs. They can speak louder than words.

I like honesty. It hurts less in the end.

I like being alone. Sometimes…

I like people who can laugh at themselves. I can laugh with them.

I like hearing a warm cheerful voice at the other end of the phone line. It is music.

I like music from the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and, eventually, I will like it in the 0’s.

I like snow, sunsets, rain, thunder and lightning, storms. They remind me we are not alone.

I like the thought that there is a God. We’ll have someone to thank and complain to.

I like this life. It’s the only life I’ve ever known.

I like fire… when it burns.

I like the light of candles. To read, talk and think by.

I like those who read. It is meditation and good for the soul.

I like mornings. When I’m in a good mood.

I like waking up early … with a warm body.

I like waking up to a beautiful face. It is like the sun and makes me glad I’m alive.

I like good writing. No matter how trashy it is.

I like it when people cry at sad movies. Its a tiny reminder that there is such a thing as compassion in this awful place.

I like kindness. It gives me hope.

I like home-cooked meals. When done with love and taste.

I like letters. No matter the length.

I like words. They help us speak.

I like writing. It’s a literal and figurative rush.

So you see then… I’m not that different from you and I like that too.