b'We all exchanged pleasantries and well wishes. As quickly as it had started it was all over. I stood there staring at the phone, mumbling to myself, trying to fi gure out what had gone wrong. After composing myself, I went downstairs to talk to my wife. Nanci had been working in the garden since noon. Even now in the early evening hours she still moved from bush to bush like a butterfl y. Since we started work on this old home a few years ago, the garden has been her love and passion. I watched her for awhile and then poured myself a glass of fi ne red wine. I took a small sip and stepped out to the garden.e water in the fountain gurgled softly from the open mouth of the lions head and then tumbled down. Nanciwas on her knees planting fl owers in large terracotta pots. Before I could even call her name or say anything, she came to me and hugged me. She took my hand and led me along the crushed granite path that meanders through the garden. ere was the chatter of birds and water, the fl uttering of leaves and butterfl ies. All the while she was talking and pointing to fl owers, bushes, and trees. But I was looking at her. A few locks of her hair had come undone from the ponytail and swung free, curling in front of her eyes. Each word was punctuated by a smile and her eyes shone with a brilliant light of enthusiasm. ere was a small patch of dry caked mud on the right side of her forehead and her garden clothes were disheveled. I had never seen anyone look so beautiful.A man should know when he is lucky, my father often used to say. Like many other things heard in youth, the meaning of these words suddenly came upon me. Now I heard them with haunting clarity. ere I stood before my beautiful home, holding the hand of my wife, who, in spite of caked mud on her face, looked amazingly beautiful to my eyes. I can hear the birds and for the fi rst time in a long while I am starting to look at this garden in a whole new light. Meanwhile our cat Felix (a.k.a. Filippo) winds down the path to join us. As I am looking down at him he bunts my leg softly and meows as if to say, Nice to see you Nick! e memories of my failed business deal started to chip offmy shoulders, melted away by the warmth of my wifes smile, carried away by the song of the birds, and covered up by the soft rumble of the bubbling water in the fountain. e hand of my wristwatch sweeps the seconds away, but I do not hear the clicking of time passing. I am living in this moment. Tomorrow is very far away. is moment belong to me. My father had a point. A man should know when he is lucky.On that balmy summer evening, walking hand in hand with my wife, I know just how lucky I am. 61'