10.10.21 Sometimes, I Miss You

4

“Every time I look at you, you’re different.”

– Mrs. Foster, Tuck Everlasting

Sometimes

even when you’re right before me

even when I can see your smile, and all your attention is directly on me

I miss you

Even then –

because I don’t only know you and love you now

but then too

and I miss you then

and there

In the places between wishes and daydreams,

when your tiny fingers would catch my pinky and hold tight

I miss your un-prompted giggles and the way your hiccups frustrated you

I miss your mis-pronunciations and sidewalk-chalk smudges

I miss your “Let’s race,” and “So big,” and “I love you more,” words

spoken in a voice that is the same

and yet so different

I love you now

more than I ever have,

but less than I will even tomorrow

YOU

in your cleverness

in your silliness

in your wisdom

and beauty

and intelligence

YOU in your everything that makes me proud

I am grateful for every freckle earned dancing in the sunshine with you …

every smile fought for and given freely …

every fall-asleep hug, every on and off-key song, every rhyme and reasonless adventure

But even after all of that

even in all you will still become … and all I hope to still be for you –

Is it okay to be honest and say

that sometimes,

I love you so much …

that I miss you?

9.30.21 Where Colors Burn

2

“And what once felt so predictable –
a canopy of breeze-tossed green
is now an explosion of brilliance …
colors that burn just to look at …”

If Fall were a woman, in the words of the eminent Jane Austen, “She would certainly be a fearsome thing to behold.” Imagine all of that brilliance … all of that passion … burning in one spirit, lighting up the world as quick as a spark and as memorable as the impression of fireworks’ afterglow. How I hope to hold a fraction of that light – that vivacity.

Bella Grace Issue 29 is filled to the brim with all things captivating. I was excited to see a throwback piece from Grace Notes of mine, “Fall is Made for Reinvention.” Please take some time this fall to listen slowly, love deeply, and soak in all the places where colors burn.

Wind chimes and wishes,

Elle Harris

9.19.21 You Will Rise

1

” … If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools …”

– Rudyard Kipling, “If”

This week, a precious friend confided the difficult reality that sometimes, life hurts. Right now – her pain is acute. And although no one goes through this existence completely unscathed, there are times that will shake you to the point of an internal tremble. I’ve been thinking about her all week. Praying for her. And while I hate that I cannot fix it, I want her to know … I want you all to know, that Hope is an ever-present promise, even when all else fails. I wish I could take away the trials, but for the time being, all I have to offer is a small collection of words I gathered in the midst of this trial. May they bring you back to a point of knowing this is not the end of the world’s story … or of yours.

Life isn’t always what it seems

what you thought it was,

would, or even should be

Sometimes, when the clouds come

they stay

stagnant and unforgiving

relentless and roiling

In the dark, the questions come

doubts intermingling with leftover pieces of dreams …

as though everything you thought you knew to be true

is backwards, a broken, mirrored reflection of what it once was

sharp shards revealing every tear

Even then … in the moments where Destiny feels defective

and reality is rent with defeat,

even then there is light

Fractured bits of faith remain as glittered dust among the debris

incapable of being gathered and disposed of fully

Just as embers might once again be fanned into flame

Credence is worthy of reflection

And while chaos is deafening –

Hope speaks in constant whispers beneath it all …

a steady undercurrent, present below the pain

What is anguish but an inverse reaction to love?

What is devastation if not proof that devotion was present?

So be angry dear heart,

there is room in this space to be angry.

Be sad if you must,

there is room in this space to be sad.

Ask questions, have doubts, be aware of the darkness …

because I know,

even if you don’t –

even if you can’t –

that you are made of stardust and promises …

and your heart is branded with infallible truths

This life has no claim over that which is eternal

You may be shaken but you are not shattered

You might well have fallen, only to prove

once again

you will rise

8.26.21 Held

1

Sometimes, I think we all just need to be held

in the in-between places that fissure and fester …

that feel one word or deed away

from shattering our resolve

c o m p l e t e l y

On the days when your skin feels too tight

and your heart skips and stutters –

desperately trying to find a rhythm amidst the speed of light

and what’s supposedly

wrong

or right

in a time when there’s no such thing

Sometimes, I imagine a golden thread

weaving its way in and out of the dark

and frayed pieces of the spirit that we all try to ignore

I try to fathom a light among my heavy, swollen thoughts

that build and fill to the point of brimming

But to be held …

to be wrapped in the promise that

everything is going to be okay

It’s not the truth of the words that matters

instead

in the end

it’s the hope behind them …

the possibility

that hope is enough

the reality that it always is

8.12.21 Like Her Light

4

I wonder how it can be

that the light of my life

has once again had her turn about the sun –

where she has shared smiles

and ideas

and daydreams

as if they were

endlessly renewable resources

And to her …

they are

There is no day that is not made brighter because of her

There is no individual she leaves

without having made them feel truly seen

and known

and valued

And always, I am in awe not only of her

but of the breathtaking reality

that I get to be a part of her story …

As she continues to grow,

as she continues to circumnavigate this life

I know there will be times

I want to bear the weight of the world for her

and yet,

I also know she will find her own way

and that somehow

she will illuminate her own path …

thereby casting her incandescence

like starlight

like sunlight

like

her

light

Radiant and brilliant as she

7.30.21 Sunless Day

3

“Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.” J.M. Barrie

I read the news today

and I think it might’ve been a mistake

I

think

I

might’ve been mistaken –

in my litany of sunny days

when others face smoke

and fog

and fear

and haven’t seen the sky in

who

knows

how

l o n g

Whether it is because of the dark that surrounds them …

or because they’ve forgotten how to look up …

a sunless day

is a sunless day

I read the news today

and I think it might have been important

I

think

I

might’ve been mistaken –

in my litany of sunny days

I should instead remember to pray with more intention than repetition,

to clear fear where I can

and hold hands where I cannot

to lift chins and wipe tears and embrace

with my words whomever I can possibly reach

Can you help me

even once?

Because sometimes,

(most times)

once is enough

Share the Light

7.19.21 Stay

8

“There are many different kinds of bravery.” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

Did you know that you were born of a wish? Longstanding and riddled with doubt at the test of time, your daddy and I didn’t know whether or not you would come true … but then, like the miracle you are … you did.

As an infant your days were wreathed in smiles, and giggles … counted, kissed fingers and toes. As a toddler, every day was an expeditious discovery of what was new. Stems and rocks, the way water splashed and the way bubbles floated, everything was alight with wonder. At school age, the adventure continued. You learned and you played and you nurtured the most important gift heaven gave you – your imagination. In the middle years you discovered what a wide world it truly is. You found friends across the world and met every new opportunity with integrity and curiosity, a most powerful combination.

And now, now my precious baby boy … now you are entering a whole new phase, a whole new chapter to the epic tale of you. It was some time ago that I came to realize how brave you really are – how brave you’ve always been.

Stay brave.

Sometimes things will be difficult, but you can handle difficult things! You have love. You have faith. You have your precious, priceless childhood filled to overflowing with memories to sustain you.

Stay young.

Remember that no matter who has opinions of you or for you, you know who you are and what you are capable of. You were created at this time in history for a purpose no one can fulfill but you. Don’t doubt your worth.

Stay true.

Finally, know that there is not one step of this beautiful life that you walk alone. Your faith, your family, your friends, and your spirit are not only beside, but within you. Focus your compass north, your mind heavenward, and your feet forward. You walk in the company of angels.

Stay close my son … always.

7.7.21 Reordering Fractals

6

It is not often that I give myself time to think

and lately I’ve been thinking

It is not often that I let my thoughts sink in

and lately they dwell

Some are light

frothy whisps and whispers …

dandelion puffs scattering a million different directions

like fractals of light

impossible to recall or reclaim

Other thoughts are heavier

dense, purple-bruised clouds

that thicken

and linger

and swell until I feel my feet moving …

physically up and walking me away from a brewing storm of chaos I unwittingly created

somehow my feet knowing my heart couldn’t handle if we stayed

Amazing how a multitude of musings have the power to free or ensnare you

to offer the comfort of company

or the isolation of introspection

Regardless of their condition –

of density to the point of saturation …

or fleeting fancies barely tiptoed across the mind,

thoughts require time

both the getting into

and climbing back out of

But prayer –

the utterance of a holy plea

to stay, to calm, or to go before me

is both my anchor and my lifeline …

Hemming me in

and letting me go

turning my thinking into reflection

reordering my fractals

into stars

5.23.21 Ever-So-Much-More

2

Sometimes you ask me if I’m still attracted to you. After being together for 20 years, I feel I must be failing somewhere if you must ask … so here is my answer to that question evermore. Let it now be a closed issue.

I simply adore you

without strings and beyond reason

If someone asks me, “Where is home?”

Your name is my answer

I am not simply attracted to you –

you are my North

the gravity keeping my heart grounded

and my spirit close

In some ways I hate the words “I love you,”

because they are insufficient

As a lover and weaver of words

you can’t imagine how frustrating it is to know so many …

and not be able to craft them together to say enough

And so you

my life … I want you to listen closely

Read and reread as you must, but know

unequivocally

you must trust that what I feel for you is

beyond words

beyond years

beyond the etches of time wearing themselves into us both

beyond what you view as your imperfections

(and what I view as your charms)

beyond benefit or lust

beyond convenient and settled

Honestly?

I don’t think I’d know me without you,

because the best parts of both of us,

exist outside of us both

with their own sets of journeys,

but they only exist because God set our paths to cross

What serendipity.

And so I have one thing left to say –

thank you for choosing me

over and over again

even when I wouldn’t choose myself

especially then

I love that I see you in him

I love that I see you in her

echoes of your laughter and your compassion

reincarnated in another set of lives

Imagine that love … the kind that becomes a legacy

So no

I am not simply “attracted” to you

I am written into the pages of your story

sharing breaths

sharing atoms

sharing ever-so-much-more

than I love you’s