When the Sky Opened Up

It was the end of the world, they said.

Burning acid rain spewed from the hole the sun had bitten into the atmosphere, searing the surface of the planet. Scorching a line across the equator, merciless as it combed its rays over the land closest to it. More than likely, to the sun, the lands at the equator felt like an offering—so close, so dense, so populated.

Lots of people lost their lives that day.

Lots.

And yet, somehow…

We survived.

Mankind, as a whole, I mean.

Honestly, everyone thought that that would be the end of it. When the sky opened up, nobody expected to survive—no one. We thought that was it for all of us. That the planet was doomed.

But.

Clearly:

That wasn’t the case.

That day, I stood, watching the sky. Feeling the heat waves engulf the planet. Rolling over us, though we were so far north—so far from the sun’s gaze. I stood and saw the glare, the sweltering fingers that razed the land, that evaporated portions of the ocean, that decimated our numbers.

I saw it.

I saw the sky open up.

And, just as it was then, it’s the same now:

I’m not afraid. Continue reading “When the Sky Opened Up”

Burning Leaves

Sniffing the air, I catch a whiff of it. Just the tiniest hint.

Juniper.

Birch.

Fire.

You.

The tug that follows runs deep. Pulling at my core, my foundation. I can feel the movement of it in the air, in the earth. This was more than a calling. More than an emptiness, or a filling. More than the physical world.

This was…

More.

Catching that whiff, feeling that tug, I don’t stand there.

I run.

I run, hoping.

Hoping to reach you. Continue reading “Burning Leaves”

Warrior’s Way

Expectations are always hard to meet. You never know when exactly you’re overshooting, or coming up short. When people place expectations on you, you just kind of…

Go for it.

And what happens, happens.

You either succeed.

Or.

Fail.

Usually, there’s a pretty clear sign when you’ve met someone’s expectations.

Or when you haven’t.

There are very few people who are understanding about it. Who don’t live to be let down. Very few who get over themselves enough to realize that achieving their expectations doesn’t matter.

Not when you really, truly try.

Continue reading “Warrior’s Way”

Run River, Run

I regret a lot of things.

But I don’t think you can live your life with no regret. It’s unrealistic.

Regret is part of growth. Part of understanding. Letting your regret weigh you down is a mistake, but it’s a good thing to have some regret. It’s a good sign.

It means you’ve grown.

You’ve changed.

Hopefully, for the better.

I think mine has made me better. Stronger.

My regret for you.

I’m sorry. I’m still sorry. I’ll always be sorry. From the day I knew I was sorry, I was sorry, and, until the day I die, I’ll be sorry. Even then, even after I’m dead, I might still be sorry.

I’m sorry.

But I won’t let it weigh me down, because I know that’s not what you’d want. That’s not what my regret is for. It wasn’t meant to be a stumbling block, it was meant to teach me. For me to learn. My regret wasn’t born for hurting me.

It’s for this. Continue reading “Run River, Run”

Wandering the Dark

Flashes of light. Words that burst into the dark, that puncture its stranglehold. That fight against the waves.

What lies in the dark?

There’s you, and there’s me, and there’s something else here, too, isn’t there? Not something that can be seen, or touched, or felt in any physical way. But it’s here, isn’t it?

You can’t see me.

You breathe.

Inhale once, exhale again. A whisper comes out, distorted through the dark. Not loud, and not powerful in the exhale. But that isn’t what matters.

It’s the inhale that brings the strength.

You breathe in my name. Let it go, just a little. Soft words in the dark. Tiny fragments of light. A star in the ever-distant sky. Not a lot.

But it’s enough.

Enough to guide you north. Continue reading “Wandering the Dark”

Man of the Shell

I knew a man who made a deal with a turtle.

It was just one deal. Just once. He never spoke to the turtle again after that. Never went back to see how it turned out for the turtle. Didn’t care to.

He made a deal with a turtle.

He traded the turtle his house for the turtle’s shell. The turtle wanted more stability, the guy said. Told me it was easy to talk him out of his shell. Talk him into that place instead, that place of brick and concrete. So, so easy.

And, once the deal was done, the guy moved on. Took the turtle’s shell, and went out on the road.

And the guy never did look back.

He was too content.

I often wonder if the turtle felt the same.

Or if, sometimes, he thinks about it. Thinks about his old shell. His mobile home.

I wonder:

Does the turtle see it the same? Continue reading “Man of the Shell”

Selfless Instinct

Endure.

The sound blasts through the sky. It makes the birds stop and blocks out the sound of any semblance of sense. Those in the immediate area lose it, while those far enough away run for their lives. Uncertainty fills the air.

Endure.

It’s a command.

It doesn’t come from above, nor does it come from below. It’s a call. A demand. Something that can’t be ignored because it isn’t a phone ringing, and it isn’t a dog singing. It’s not loud, and it’s not soft. It is what it is.

It comes from within.

Endure.

So I do.

I take my cues from myself, and I turn, and I run.

I endure. Continue reading “Selfless Instinct”

Waiting Pains

I’ve always wondered if it was selfish or smart.

To leave someone behind.

If you’re not loving them enough if you leave. Or, perhaps, you’re not loving yourself enough if you stay. Is it right to stay? Is it right to leave? One has to be better than the other, doesn’t it? One must be right, and the other must be wrong.

Is it wrong of a cheetah to run ahead of a turtle?

Is it wrong for an eagle to realize a rhino can’t keep pace?

Or is it wrong for them to not be patient? For them to not keep waiting?

I don’t know.

And I sorely wish that I did. Continue reading “Waiting Pains”

Spin

Sandhill cranes are seriously strange creatures. They’re freakishly tall, have extremely pointy beaks, and are lankier than a teenage Gumby.

But they’re also interesting.

Sure, they sound like velociraptors, and I’d never go near one, not even to save my own life, but they generally travel in pairs.

Honestly, it’s kind of cool to watch them walk around together. Keeping pace with one another. Taking off together.

Unless, of course, they’re heading toward you. Making angry raptor noises. Flapping their wings.

Then it’s kind of scary.

But I like their dedication. The way they look out for one another.

They don’t move on without their pair.

And that’s something I can wrap my head around. Continue reading “Spin”

Soaring

Do you know what’s scary?

Forgetting.

And I don’t mean in that vague, temporary way. The way in which you walk into a room—be it the kitchen, or the laundry room, or your living room—and forget what it is that you’re there to do. What task you had in mind, or what object you meant to pick up. And then, after staring intently into the abyss for a moment, you remember what it is and then go about your day, the feeling of an unseeable itch gone, replaced by the relief of remembering.

I don’t mean that kind of forgetting at all.

I mean truly, sincerely forgetting.

Completely.

It’s terrifying when you think about it.

Because, really…

…how do you remember what it was you forgot?

You can’t.

You’ve forgotten.

Spooky, isn’t it?

What have you forgotten, I wonder?

Was it important?

Was it beautiful?

Was it magical?

Was it something like this?

I wonder for your sake, not mine.

I’ve already been shown what I lost to my bad memory. What it was that I forgot.

And it was all those things in one. Continue reading “Soaring”