I woke up this morning smiling, but as I opened my eyes, the sadness slowly washed over me. The dream I had was fading from my memory. I got up for the day, looked into the mirror and saw the hint of my youth that still lingered in my eyes. I looked up at the painting on the wall, and slumped my shoulders. The painting of the forest cabin was a reminder of our favourite place. I smiled as I remembered us.

We were sitting outside, you and I, happily enjoying each others company. The sunshine was waning, dropping below the horizon. The smell of smoke and fire, the pine trees, the late spring flowery air as it started to cool in the evening. We inched closer to the fire, to each other. We watched as the sky turned a brilliant orange, that was quickly chased away by the darkness. The stars blinked at us, and they twinkled in our eyes. We looked in awe as we watched the sky, listened to the wind rustle through the leaves, dabd heard the crickets begin their evening song. The chilled air made me shiver and you pulled me into a warm embrace. We held each other, spent a little longer outside, living for that moment.

I blinked. The painting stared back at me, unmoving, It was still morning, and I need to keep moving forward. I walked slowly towards the shower and start the water.

The sound of the falling water took me back to that time on the sea. We were loud and happy. The sea was a calm dark blue, the salty air swirling around us, the mists cooling us off under the hot summer sun. We were singing all the pirate songs we could remember, terribly off key. We were laughing and jovial, joking around. You pretended to push me off the little boat we saved so much for. And to surprise you, I jumped! Into the dark cold waters, I jumped. I cried out with shock and you stared down at me, before you started to giggle. And giggle, and giggle! You held out your hand, and pulled me back into our little boat. You then pulled me into your arms and hugged tight. “Don’t scare me like that!” you said. I laughed, grabbing a towel drying myself off. “Should have joined me instead,” I replied smiling.

The shower water was warm as I stepped inside, letting the water wash over me. The unfallen tears washed away. I didn’t stay in long.

As I began to dress, the sweater caught my attention. It was blue and green, and one of the most comfortable things to wear. I grabbed it and started to pull it over my head. It reminded me of that one fall afternoon. It was our 3rd or 4th outing together. The sun was hanging low in the sky, but the light shinning through treetops was flashing and dancing among the falling leaves.

We were walking along a well trodden path, warm cups in hand. The spicy smells and the brisk air mixed together, the taste of fall. A dog ran up to you with a stick in his mouth, jumping and wagging his tail. We looked around but saw no-one. You bent and picked up the stick, patted the dog on the head, and threw it. The dog bounded away, chasing that stick, and you laughed. I sipped my warm drink, smiling to myself at your gentle nature. Your sheepish grin, as you watched the dog bring the stick back, happy as can be. We continued to walk and throw that stick for the dog, laughing at the simplicity of the moment. We rounded a corner and the dog bounded off to a young man. We smiled and waved, and continued walking along, sipping our drinks and talking about nothing in particular. We felt the temperature drop and I hugged myself into my sweater. You noticed the small movement and my chill. We turned back to walk the way we came, feeling the dampness creeping up on us. The wind picked up and began whipping the falling leaves around, chilling us further. As the sun dipped out of view, the rain clouds started to release the cool drops they had been holding on to. As they fell on us, we started to run. You grabbed my hand, and pulled me under a nearby gazebo in the park. We stayed in that shelter a little while, watching the rain fall on the rest of the world, listening to the pitter patter, feeling the wind. We sat in each others company, and I knew then, that I would pass many nights like this with you.

I pull the sweater down over my head and my lips turned up again. I continue to get ready for the day. I move into the kitchen to make my morning drink, and see your cup, untouched, sitting on the counter. I sigh, setting down my cup beside yours. I look out our kitchen window, and see some freshly fallen snow outside. The clean white snow, untouched at the moment would soon need to be shoveled away. I finished my drink and pulled on my boots and coat. I grabbed my mittens, your hat opened and the door.

I walked out of out lodge, and into the chilled air. The sun was just rising, and you followed behind me. “Brr, you said, how can you enjoy this cold?!” I laughed as I grabbed my snowboard and urged you to follow. We took the lift to the top of the mountain. From there we could see the whitened ground, the bare trees. You gasped beside me, still complaining about the fridgid air, but your eyes widened at the view. There was a frozen lake on the other side of hill, it would soon be filled with skaters of all ages. As we neared the top of the mountain the sun had become a full circle in the sky. We saw a white tailed deer saunter quietly into the woods. A bunny had hopped through the fresh powder, leaving her trail of footprints in the snow. The bare trees creaked in the light wind, slumbering away the winter, waiting for the warmth to return. We settle at the top together and take in the view. I catch you watching me instead. You smiled at me and said “I like seeing your eyes light up over the beauty in this world.” I couldn’t help but smile back, the heat rising to my face as I blushed. “How could I ever be cold when you’re around to make me blush?!”I got up, strapped my boot to the board, and began my descent on the slope. As I glided over the snow, feeling the wind whoosh by, heard the snow crackle and grunt at being disturbed so early. You followed me down, at first chasing me, then waving as you passed me going faster and faster. I called out to you, but my voice was carried back up the mountain. I sped down that hill determined to catch you, and finally I saw you ahead. You had fallen, and you were a little shaken up. I laughed at first, but your face made me stop. You were hurt! I helped you stand up and you hugged me tight. We took off our gear and walked back to the lodge. Some ice for your injury while we looked you over, and found that nothing was broken. Some rest would be good. I added a couple logs to the fireplace in the lodge, grabbed the blanket and spread it out in front of the fire. You looked at me with curiosity, and you watched me move around the little room. I set up our own little picnic in front of that fireplace. We sat together on that blanket all day and well into the evening. I laid my head in your lap and you brushed your hands through my hair. Talking about nothing and everything and life. I fell asleep with my head on your chest as you hummed the terrible pirate songs from summers past.

I cleared the snow from the front walkway and made my way to the driveway. I knew not to expect any visitors, but I cleared the driveway anyways. No-one except the little birds who had come to expect the feed I threw would visit. I fear that letting go would mean leaving them with nothing. I grabbed the bag of feed from inside the door and toss a couple handfuls.

The confetti they threw over us was overwhelming, but I could only see you. You were the one standing with me at the altar, the one saying “I do” as I said the same. We kissed, and our families celebrated our union. It didn’t matter, what happened next, I knew I would spend the rest of my life with you.

The birds chirped happily as they ate the feed. I wandered back inside our home filled with the memories of the life we lived. The couch where we watched movies and cuddled. The kitchen that warmed our souls with home cooked food. The office, still strewn with your things, the projects you were working on, the things I dared not to touch. The bedroom where we spoke our innermost thoughts, shared our worries, and held each other every night as we melted into sleep. We lived a life well lived. There were many happy memories of us, I thought, as I wondered room from room, looking at all the trinkets that served as reminders of who we were.

I woke up with a smile on my face, you still sleeping beside me. I kissed your cheek and whispered “It’s only a dream”, and snuggled into your warm embrace. The warmth disappeared slowly as I felt myself drift away…

I’ll meet you back in our favourite place, the little cabin in the woods, and we will watch the sun set together forever in our painting.

Blue Cavern

The sound of my footsteps echoed in the cavern. It was dark, a little damp and misty.  It was cold, and I still wet. The waterfall roared outside the cave. I looked for you, but my eyes hadn’t adjusted yet. You called my name, the excitement in your voice tugging at me. We were swimming on the lake, just playing and having fun. Chasing each other in the refreshing cool water, underneath the hot summer sun. We swam to the waterfall. I swam to the left, and you to the right. We each took a big breath, and dove under the ever falling curtains of water and moved our bodies through the current. We raised our heads out of the water and took a breath. We were now on the backside of the falls. The water cascading down in front of us, and the cliff at our backs. We climbed onto the rocks and sat there, smiling and talking over the sound of the water. The rocks were smooth, eroded over time from the passing water. We leaned back and relaxed, just sitting in our own little bubble, sheltered from the outside world.
I held my hand into the falling water when you spotted it. You called out to me “Hey, look there’s a cave up there!”. You immediately started the short climb. It looked to about 4 or 5 feet up from the pooling water. You easily got up there and called back to me “come look at this! It’s a big cave up here.” I saw you disappear into the mouth. I wondered at your braveness, head first into the unknown. I looked around, and grasped the smoothened rocks and tried to climb up. My foot slipped once, I fumbled a bit before clamoring up the rest of the way. I was at the lip of the cave, peering in. I could hear the roar of the waterfall behind me. You called out to me from within that cavern. I couldn’t see, but I could hear you. I shivered in the darkness waiting for eyes to adjust to the lack of light. My footsteps echoed against the rocks. My sight started to return and I looked around. The walls were wet, and the air was misty from where the water hit the ground and danced around. The floor sloped towards the falls and the lake, eroded by water. I looked into the cave and saw your  silhouette as you called to me again. The excitement in your voice was exhilarating. You came to me and took my hand.  Your hand was warm, and I felt my pulse quicken. You pulled me along, excitingly turning this way and that.  I was lost, the falls a faint sound behind us now. As we walked the cave grew drier, and so did I. I slowed down as we walked, admiring the rock formations, the walls weathered down smooth in placed, competing with jagged broken stone. The swirls of colours, greens and blacks mixed with the browns and whites. The textures of grainy, sharp and slick, smooth and cool. We hadn’t walked that long in when you said “sunlight” and I followed your outstretched finger, pointing to a spot on the wall that was brightened. You grabbed my hand again, and we made our way towards the light. We squeezed our way between two large boulders, and found ourselves in a large clearing. I gasped. I think you did to. 
There was no sun, instead the large room was glowing! It was stunningly beautiful ! A bright blue glow filled the space, illuminating the cavern walls. We stood there with our mouths agape, staring, not quite comprehending the treasure we had found. As we stared, the blue glow seemed to pulse. The light wasn’t steady it seemed. It flickered on and off in different line patterns. You broke the silence first, “it’s beautiful” whispered from your lips. I looked down, to try and see what the glowing was coming from. As I bent down, I could see that the cavern floor was covered in what looked like tiny glowing mushrooms, the glow from underneath the cap of the mushroom top. “Bioluminesent mushrooms” I whispered. You took a step forward, and the room lit up in a flutter. Thousands upon thousands of glowing blue butterflies took to the air. The flap of their wings echoing, their flowing pattern shifting and twisting. A light show of our very own. We watched, not moving, in complete awe. The butterflies danced along the top of the cavern before settling back down on the glowing mushroom caps. I slowly sat down on the floor with my back to the wall, you sat down beside me and took my hand. The warmth of your hand melted into mine and sank into my chest. We spoke not a word. The minutes were like years, the years a single heartbeat. We stayed there a little while, in comfortable silence staring at this beautiful, untouched, magical world that only we knew about. The words escaped us, but we knew, we would only ever see this once in our lifetime and it was a treasure worth seeing. You squeezed my hand, and I lifted my head from your shoulder, not realizing it had settled there. You told me reluctantly that we needed to go, your eyes reflecting the blue glow of the room. With reluctance, I agreed. We stood up slowly, but still the movement disturbed the butterflies again. They fluttered up, swarming and swirling up towards the cavern roof, as we slipped through the two boulders that hid their world. You still held my hand, as we walked back through those cavern walls. We were speechless, but excited. Content in each others company and silence. I felt the walls dampen, and the rocks grew slippery. I heard the waterfall rumble. We both looked at one another and started to run. We ran to the edge of that cavern and leapt!
We both passed through the waterfall and splashed down into the pool of churning water. The water was refreshing and cool, the sun bright and warm on my wet skin.  We surfaced in the lake, and swam to the shore. I laid down on the sunny shore. You laid down beside me and rested your head on my shoulder. “Was that really real?” I whispered. A white butterfly with blue spots landed on my nose. She opened her wings once, twice, before she quickly took off again, fluttering away silently towards the waterfall. 

The Rain

The cool water is dripping down your body. You clothes are wet, almost sticking to your skin. They hug against your body, pulled downward by gravity. Your hair is plastered to your forehead, the drops steadily falling from the end of your curled bangs.

You wipe your forehead, trying to move the rain from your eyes. The attempt is futile, as the sky keeps pouring down overhead. You trudge through the puddles, your feet slapping heavily onto the wet ground. You feel so heavy, but still you must keep walking forward. You feel like the clouds are sobbing, bawling every tear they could muster. In your eyes, no tears could fall, so the sky cried for you. You felt broken, lost, like a little boy lost in the park. You walked on, eyes firmly gazed forward. Always forward. You cannot look back, and see the past. The rain will wash away the past. You repeat, whispering it into the wind. The dark clouds blackened overhead, shifting and swirling. They seemed to be getting angrier, but, still they cried. The wind howled in your ears, the drops were now pelting you, bouncing off of you, leaving little imprints. Your hands, cold and soaked, weathered, and wrinkled in the steady beat of the water. Another drop dripped down from your hair, this time, into your eyes, you saw a flash of lightning.

The whole sky lit up, and your eyes widened. You saw the outline of the town up ahead, and knew that you finally made some headway back. You picked up your left foot, grunting as the weight of the water slowed your move. Brought that leg forward, and sunk it it into the ankle deep water, that ran along the street, the surprise river seemed to be rising, like the rage you are keeping in check, but you keep moving forward. Right foot, splash, left foot, splash. Your heavy breaths are lost in the unruly wind, a few leaves whipping about. The Thunder finally roared! A low rumbling, that elongated into a powerful booming sound. You felt the rising pressure in your chest. Left foot, splash, right foot, splash. The drops seemed to turn to ice, and your face hurt, like needles piercing your skin. You pause only a moment, as another flash of lightning fills the sky. You see the arc and dance of light as it bounced from the crying clouds to the earth. The town is a little closer, you can almost see the street lights now. You struggle on, putting all your power into moving those legs, picking up those heavy feet and stomping through that water. The Thunder roars at you, startling you at its loudness. You can hear your blood boiling above the screaming wind. The icicles now lancing into you, numbing your body. You can’t feel your legs anymore, but still you push them onwards. The dark blue-green sky is churning, mimicking the anger you feel. You can hear, a low, constant rumble, the splish- splash of your feet, mixed with the water hitting the ground, the puddles filling and spilling over into one another, creating that river along the street. Your breath is shallow, heavy, hard. You take one more step, lift that left foot up, swing it forward and stomp it down into the water. Your foot doesn’t hit the ground. You hang there, suspended, the rain falling in curtains over you. Your foot slips on the slippery rock. You feel your numb body being pulled forward by the gravity. As you shoot your icy cold hands in front of you to brace for impact, your knees buckle, crashing into the ground. Your hands find the ground in front of you, keeping your upper body out of the cascading water running along the side of the road. You feel a sharp sting, as your palms are torn open on the asphalt, your knees are throbbing from the sudden impact. You feel the wetness creep over your legs, somehow feeling more wet than you had been. Can you be wetter than soaking wet? You feel your palms warm up with the stinging, and the small rivulets of blood appearing from the scrapes. You check on yourself in the glow of the frequent lightning flashes. The Thunder was now a constant rumble. You could feel it in your chest, the swelling, the anger, the frustration all building. “RRRROOOOAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH” You screamed while the thunder booms. You felt the tears overwhelm your eyes, as you let them fall, the hot burning feeling as they streamed down your cheeks. You kneeled in that flowing water, soaked to the bone, letting out blood curdled scream after scream, howling and gulping for air. The wind swallows your screams letting you cry out with everything you have. You scream until you are sobbing, all but wiped out. You let the rain wash everything away, and let it take away all the hurt, the frustration the anger. You kneel there, feeling the thunder roar, seeing the lightning flashes, listening to the wind, your blood slowly simmering down, the hiccupping sobs turned into smaller gasps of air, the tears finally drying. You place your bloodied palms on your knees and push up. You raise your left foot, then your right. You straighten yourself up, shoulders back, head held high. You take another step forward, and see that town in front of you come into view. The Clouds above you have stopped their churning, the swirling. The flashes have almost stopped, the rumbles have faded. You keep stepping forward, and the sky slips out of her green dress, and back into grey, the clouds smoothening out above you. The rain is now just a light caress on your skin, almost misty. The roaring river beneath your feet, is now just a trickle, some puddles left, showing the ripples of the still falling rain. You walk forward, your still wet feet hitting the puddles, splish- splash, but you no longer feel heavy. You can see a few small rays of sunshine start to peek out. You start to bounce, jumping from puddle to puddle. Left foot, Hop, right foot. Splash! You reach the town limits just as the rain stops entirely. You finally allow yourself to look behind you. You can see all the dark churning clouds, the rain, the storm moving away, but you smile. The sun has cast its light on the past, revealing the most stunning sight of light, red, orange, yellow, blue, indigo, and purple arching across sky. The most beautiful thing you can see, is a rainbow bridging your storm to your sunshine.


I stand here, in front of you, defenses up, walled in, ice cold, masked and chained, after being broken, battered and bruised for showing my true self to others.  They did not like that person, so I locked my true self up and hid her from the world. The mask I wear is pretty, it fits in. But I cannot keep her contained forever. She fights to be released from her prison, and in fits, she occasionally makes her way to the surface. She surfaces in peculiar ways, in the dreams I have, in the goals I make. She escapes in my smiles, hiding in my laughter, my artwork, my eyes. 

But then we met you. 

You smiled at us. You warmed the icy shell that kept her cold and aloof. She grew stronger that day. As we talked, and traded stories and experiences, the walls began to crack. She kept peeking through them, longing to see you, wanting to share her stories.  You asked me about my goals and dreams. She broke her chains that day, telling you all the wonderous things she wanted to do in life. Bit by bit, the walls grew thinner, and the ice melted away. She was surfacing more and more. You told her all the things that made you feel happy, angry, sad, scared. She wanted to know more, to see more, to feel more. I was terrified to feel hurt and rejected again,- but she was not-  she was ready to feel loved. 

She shed away the many defenses. She removed the mask that society forces us to wear, to blend in, to be the same as everyone else. She broke her chains that tied her down to earth, to stop the lofty goals from being reached, from dreaming beyond. And then, she tore down the  wall she had built- keeping her from letting anyone see her, to let them love her, to let her feel. The ice that covered her, keeping her cold, keeping her distant and unattached, melted away. It all fell away, revealing a glowing smile, a warm heart, and fire in her eyes. She is beautiful, imperfect as she is. She has her blemishes, her marks, her scars, her stories. She wears them all with pride. She is not weak because of them, but strong in spite of them. 

She stood naked, exposed, vulnerable. Her flaws and blemishes on full display. The Mask she nearly always wore, fluttered to the ground, to land bedside the broken chains, and the remains of the crumbled walls. She stands there, tall, shoulders back, chin raised in front of you, as her true self. The fire in her eyes, echoes the passion in her heart. The last layer of frost on her skin is melting, surrounding her in a warm white mist. You cannot break my Soul. She is strong, proud, and now, finally, she is free. 

Your soul reaches out to mine, and she smiles, lifting her hand. She pulls you into a warm embrace, like old friends reuniting. They hug, long, deep, melting into each other, glowing as they each give their full, imperfect selves to one other. They are dancing, like flames in a fire, passion and light eminating from within them. I can feel their spark, their joy, their happiness at finding one another. They were always meant to be free. They were meant for each other.