Thursday, January 24, 2013


Ben and Tessa walked along the sidewalk, hand in hand, under the awnings of the stores all closed up for the night. The young couple was in no hurry, immersed in the butterflies of new love. It was as if the night was made for them... despite the rain that fell.

The water dripped to the ground between each awning and, as they jumped from shelter to shelter, Tessa was aware of the havoc the little bits of rain were having with her carefully arranged hair. She hoped it still looked alright and occasionally put her free hand up to check.

It was in the middle of one of these checks that Ben stopped.  He paused under an awning and looked out into the rain. "Come on," he invited, as then walked right into the downpour, pulling Tessa with him.

"Are you crazy, Ben?" she pulled him back. "It's wet out there! We'll get soaked."

He winked at her and shrugged. "So we get soaked."  He drew her out and she could feel the water seeping into her clothes, dripping down through her hair.  The strands began to stick to the sides of her face and she knew there was no hope in salvaging it now.  She must've looked like a drowned rat.

She frowned, her eyebrows coming together in her discomfort. "Are you happy now?"

Ben turned and stepped close to her. "Not yet." He slid his hand behind her neck and dipped his head to taste the raindrops on her forehead. "But I will be." They stood in the pouring rain as he kissed down her nose and finally brushed his lips against hers.  Tessa sighed contentedly and her lips parted against his as she leaned into him. They stood in the rain a long time.

When he finally lifted his head, Ben whispered, "I've always wanted to kiss a beautiful girl in the rain. Thank you."

And as he walked her home, she smiled.  He'd called her beautiful. Clothes soaked to the bone, hair plastered against her head, and he'd called her beautiful.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I felt like an afterthought.

It was a friendship that I had invested in, and I thought that they invested in it, too.  But I began to feel like an afterthought... always put off, never honest with. In the beginning, I excused it. They were busy and they had other things to do.  I could understand that.  But, as time went on and it just got worse, it became more and more of a thing. It became more and more something that I couldn't ignore.

And while this could very well go on to be something about how I felt mistreated and how wrong they were to treat me that way... it's not what I want to say.  I had a part in this, too.

When you notice that people are treating you in a way that you don't want to be treated, I feel like you have three choices.

1. You can ignore it.
2. You can talk to them about it.
3. You can walk away from it.

Much of the time, I feel like we do #1. We don't want to confront anyone, we just hope that it will magically work itself out.  But, the problem with that is that the way they're treating you isn't actually bothering them. So why would it change? Why would they change?  So, if we choose #1 all the time, it will go on bothering us. And in the end, the habit of it will be something that is partly on our shoulders. We perpetuate it by accepting it.

We can also do #2.  We can talk to them about it. Hopefully, that will help things to change. Maybe they don't even realize that they're treating you in a way that you don't like, that makes you feel less-than. Talking to them can bring that into their awareness.  From there, it's their choice whether you mean enough to them to change the way they behave towards you or whether you don't. The best scenario is that they do value you enough... and they try to change, and you can have healing between the two of you.

But sometimes they don't choose that way... and you're back to another choice.

1. You can ignore it.
2. You can walk away from it.

From here, you have to decide...  If the status quo is going to keep on being the status quo, can you accept that? Can you be friends with nothing changing?  Maybe you can.  Or maybe you can't.  But, you get to choose. You get to choose what you put up with and what you don't.

They say that what you put up with is what you end up with. What are you putting up with? What are you ending up with? And are you pleased with it?

Thursday, January 17, 2013


I was driving home today and I took the long way. I usually don't and you know why.

There was just something about the day... the sun shining, the clouds rolling by. It was the kind of day we would have liked.

So I took the long way, and I drove by the field. I even stopped.  I stopped and I got out, and I walked all the way to the back.

It's still there, you know... our truck.  The paint is old and faded, even more than it was when it was ours. Rust has begun to eat at it, much like time has begun to eat away at our memories.

Do you remember the same things I do?

I climbed in the bed, and I sat with my back up against the cab.  I thought about all the days and nights we spent there. All the dreams we had.  All the kisses.  How the moon spilled light over your face or how the sun would feel on a lazy summer day as we just watched the clouds roll by.

I thought of you and I thought of us and I thought of all that's passed since then.  And I wondered what our lives would be like now if things had turned out differently.

But, mostly I smiled.  Because I had memories of you.

And I wondered... as I'm wondering now... do you have memories of me?

Thursday, January 10, 2013


I stopped at the bridge to look into the icy water below. It was frigidly cold. The wind seemed to go through my coat like a sieve, and yet I couldn't help stopping. I loved this part of my walk home... quiet and peaceful.

In the spring, this creek trickled along with a happy melody, ducks floating along its path and flowers filling its shore. But, the winter's creek had its own beauty. The water still flowed, but there was a firm layer of ice on its surface. I wondered what it was like to be a fish living under there. A world that still moved on, yet was so separated from the one we existed in.

I turned to go, but as I did, slipped over a patch of ice. Breath exited my body in a rush as my feet flew out from underneath me. My eyes widened and then squeezed shut. It was all that split-second slow motion stopping of time that happens when something dreadful is about to occur. I threw my arms out to somehow cushion my fall, like a baby does when it loses its sense of security.

But before my body hit the ground, I felt arms lift me skyward and suddenly I was enveloped in strength and safety.

I blinked.  Looking up at my savior, I looked into deep brown eyes, framed in the blackest of eyelashes and furrowed in concern. "Are you alright, Miss?"

"Yes, I--" I stammered, taken off-guard by his sudden appearance but also with the nagging feeling that I knew this man.  Somewhere between the fall and the save and the warmth, it hit me.  It was Sean... or at least, I thought it was. I smiled at the memory. Sean had been my first love.  Hardly a love, I suppose.  We'd only shared one date. But, he had been handsome and sweet.  He was Hawaiian with dark hair that went so smoothly with his complexion. His face was more lined now than it had been back then, but he was no less breathtaking. Perhaps the lines even gave him more character; he was more handsome than I remembered. Than the dreams that I still had about him on lonely nights. "Thank you," I said, weakly. "I think... I think I know you.  Sean?"

He raised an eyebrow but shook his head. "Sorry, Miss. He must be a long-lost cousin or something.  I'm not Sean." He began to loosen his grip on me finally and I felt just a little disappointed. "Are you sure you're alright? Why don't you come sit over here?"

I let him lead me away from the bridge and to a bench along the creek.  I thought about this moment often later. Maybe if I hadn't been so struck by his resemblance to Sean, maybe I would have noticed the things that were just blips on my conscious then. Maybe I would have noticed the almost imperceptible nod he gave to someone along the opposite shore.

Maybe I would have noticed the glint of the moonlight on the knife he hid in his sleeve.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


"Miss Kathyrn!"

The voice came from behind me and I stopped to let it catch up around the bend in the path. A tall horse plodded along, carrying a tall man on its back.

"Good afternoon, Mr Tanner," I smiled up at him. "What brings you to our neck of the woods on this sunny afternoon?"

Mr Tanner slid off his horse and pulled a scarf from his pocket. "I think you may have dropped this before." He opened my hand and placed it inside. "I wouldn't want you to leave it behind."

"Thank y-" The words trailed off as I met his eyes. Such intensity. I bit my lip self-consciously. Why was he staring so?  Clearing my throat, I started again. "Thank you. That was really very kind of you."

"That's really all, I guess." He backed away, tipped his hat and mounted his horse once more. "Till we meet again."

"Oh, Mr Tanner?"

He looked at me questioningly.

"I think I lost this scarf last week."

His eyes flew open and I could've sworn that he colored a little.  Till we meet again, indeed.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Kindness is hard.

Because, you see, when you make the decision to pursue kindness, you don't get to choose who you dole that out to. It's not a conditional thing.  "If I like you, I'll be nice to you."

That's the easy way. But, it's not actually kindness.  That's just being nice to your friends.  Pretty easy.

It's being kind to the people you don't like, the people who rub you wrong, the people you don't agree with, the people who do things that you just don't understand...  that's the hard part. That's the part that requires you to dig deep into your beliefs, to dig into your patience, and to dig into your capacity for compassion.  That's where you find real kindness.

And it's elusive... because we don't want to do all that.  It's hard and it's work.  It's unpopular and you will find yourself being the only one.  And so it's also lonely.

But, in the final days... it's not the crowd that you will answer to. And so, still it's kindness that I seek after. I fall down a lot in its pursuit. I mess up. I snark off. I say things I shouldn't. I fail to exhibit compassion. I do what makes my selfish heart feel good and I fail.

And then I get up and I try again.

Hard things are not easy things.. but they're worthy things. So I keep trying.