Same leather brown, ripped cushion in the corner table, tucked in the back of the historic house-turned-coffee shop in the sleepy village I know so well.
Same window sill with blistered wood, bare branches with their needle fingers scraping against the pane. Same glare of light hazed above woolen clouds.
Same hope warming my chest that nurtured a young dreamer who set her heart on paper and dared to imagine her words would make a difference.
It’s the end of the year, memories swarming my head like bees wrapping their lips around the lilies. I am two halves, dangling on the edge of today, toeing the air of tomorrow.
What is the new year but another chance? Hopes balled in a basket of days, minutes to breathe again, restore broken relationships, right the wrongs.
Steam screams from the espresso machine as the young girl behind the counter pumps chocolate into a golden cup. In the street, cars crawl over fresh snow, a woman pauses to close her jacket to the wind.
I am not who I was, yet unknown evolution glides like a stream within my heartbeats to come.
My days are numbered, but infinity ruminates in the forest of my soul, pools between soft moss, maple memories.
Pen molds to my hand, as if I’d never been transported away. As if this table held the world of my words in place, revolution of writing. Paper scratches amidst the café clatter, my half-lives spilling into a crooked whole; brave and cowardice collide.
Here it is easy to step out of my skin and remember.
Remember the cadence of my heart, the light in my eyes that kept time with the swirl of delicate details of the earth. Chipped aqua frame holding a photograph of a bicycle slanted against a rain-soaked house. Vulnerable hope in the eyes of everyone, because we are all alike, slow to cover how we yearn.
Remember the girl who blazed a trail through the mountains of road blocks everyone noticed but her. The girl who bled into the lives of others and pushed air into their lungs to give them strength. The girl who ran with diamonds in her hands.
She has been so lost, so forgotten, so forced away into the dark.
A restless boy two tables down leans forward in expectancy, eyes glued to the door. He waits for someone, a beautiful and sweet girl who arrives with a shy smile sewn on her lips. He springs up and wraps her in long arms that lift her from the ground. To be missed that much, to be cared for so deliciously.
Wide eyes catch my own in the mirror across the room. What is simmering beneath the blue?
Some lives do not have the boldness to change. I am a constant observer; I reveal, I wonder, I dare to believe in so much good again.
Sip of salted caramel bursts on my tongue. I make a wish on the glow of growing shadows against the sky:
For God’s presence. For God to be pleased with me. To allow myself to desire. To open my heart and allow in full life that’s wandered elusive. For my writing to make a difference. To live confident and fearless. To be loved. To love another. To listen and get lost in silence.
These days spark heat from the cold. Stars in my eyes, imagination dusted through my bloodstream. Toes tangled with tomorrow, horizon wide and free. And the ocean, never painted the same hue twice, swelling at my feet.
Just a girl in a coffee shop corner. Crinkling paper, humming holy chants to the pipe organ of her soul. Same body, dawning a different song to sing.