My wild heart.

There’s something perfect about sitting by a fire while the wind rustles leaves and the world quiets down. The freeway rumbles a few miles away and if you wait for it, in the stillness of the blackest time of night, the train’s whistle faints near the ocean.

Laughter echoes in the twilight; smiles glow in the firelight. But as I close my eyes and dream, my thoughts wander to a place under different stars. To safe arms; wanton eyes; a smile reflecting my own.

Embers escape from dying logs and I dream of escaping from here. Someday I’ll float away, too, when the wind carries me back to you.

Smoke dances with the wind while the fire flickers, dying as the night carries on. The dreams in my heart still burn with the strength of a wild fire. I am no longer here where the train whistles by the Pacific. My heart– like embers in the wind– is carried away, and I’m with you. Safe, free, home.


Dreams disguised as small thoughts.

I sit here motionless, more still than David except for the spontaneous gusts of wind that brush my hair into my face, reminding me that I am, in fact, much more alive. I stare into nothing but the molecules which fill the air that slowly fills my lungs. Exhale. People glance in my direction as they walk past my bench and hurry to their buses.

My head turns slowly. A father holds his boy’s hand. They walk down the steps to the platform. The dad patiently waits for 2-year-old feet to stumble down the shallow steps which are hardly shallow for someone of his stature. My eyes fill up but they don’t move. They remain as still as my statued figure. The dad and his boy become blurry through my glossy, wet filter.

The wind brushes against my hair again. I know, I say to no one but my thoughts.  I am here. Remain here. I try to convince myself, but I can’t. I can’t help myself. My thoughts return to our future. I think about who you might be and the dad you’re going to be. I think of those strong hands that will hold our son’s hand, and the soft lips that will kiss our daughter’s forehead.

My thoughts place you on those steps with a young boy and I see your infectious smile that I will someday fall in love with. You relish the joy of being his daddy. He loves you. I can see it in his pure, glossy, smiling eyes as he looks up into your kind, caring daddy’s gaze. He has your eyes, the eyes I will someday fall in love with.

He takes one more step, and with that step he erupts in 2-year-old giggles. Your smile grows and you pick him up and swing him around. Then you pull him into your bundled up chest and squeeze him tight like daddies do. You kiss his cold, rosy cheeks and he bursts out in those sweet little boy giggles again, fidgeting to be set free. He has your strong heart, the heart that I will someday fall in love with.

My thoughts return to now though I struggle to stay here. I hide the glaze behind my eyes, putting it away for some other time. The boy walks away with his dad’s fingers tied to his. They catch a bus going somewhere and I get on mine heading home, though I wish it would take me to where you are.

Someday. Someday there will be a bus — a train, a car, a plane — and it will take me to you, wherever you are. And someday I’ll fall in love with your caring eyes; your infectious smile; your strong heart. Someday I’ll fall in love with you. But today our future is hidden behind my eyes, packaged in dreams disguised as small thoughts. Today I am just taking the bus home.

This December night.

I wish I could capture this essence for you, to share with you my Christmas joy, and the way I smile when I walk though I walk alone. I wish I could share this with you — the sweet sound of a saxophone and intimate chatter and the laugh of friends and lovers as I walk, walk through the cold that is not too cold, but just cold enough to remind me it’s December.

The sky is beautiful tonight. It’s clear, so I can see the stars and airplanes. And I do. I watch them. I watch the planes and wonder where they’re going and dream I am going there too. And I watch the stars. I see them. I see their greatness and I understand their feelings of insignificance. Just stars without names among a billion other stars without names, all trekking trillions of miles to shine for me, but they will never know me either, for I am only one of billions who think these stars shine for them too. Tonight, here in this place, the stars are nearly forgotten as they are drowned out by these lights, a string of glowing balls whose childlike gleam dances with the saxophone.

I breath in the cold, dry air, I close my eyes, and I smile. I want to remember this — this seemingly small joy that is nothing small at all. I feel it in the deepest part of who I am; I feel it from my fingers, through my lungs, and down to my toes. It is peace. It is goodness. It is joy, and love, and happiness. It is the knowledge of others’ joy overwhelming my heart.

I sing Christmas songs under my breath. Have yourself a merry little Christmas, I whisper to the stars. O come let us adore him, I beckon to the wind. The rustling of bags, full of surprises; the clicking of a woman’s heels as she hurries to finish errands after a long day of work; the eagerness of a child, pulling his mother’s arm in the direction of the long line for an old man in a red suit — they sing with me. The sounds of Christmas ring in my ears as my song goes on, unheard and unnoticed by those who are caught up in their own joys. Yet I am joyful. I treasure these things in my heart, quietly, and I keep on walking, accompanied by the gleam of this December night.

I am satisfied here, though I wish I could share this with you — the way my face lights up when I hear my Christmas song, and the way my heart soars when I think about the Christmases to come. Someday I’ll share this with you, but until then, whoever you are, wherever you are tonight, I pray you know a piece of this joy too.