Words on the Wind


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A Million Firsts

The other day I was thinking back to all the memories I share with my new fiancé. Joy and laughter came flooding back to my heart, along with the feeling of incredible love and a hunger to create many more equally wonderful memories. Then another thought came to me as well. It was the realization of how many “firsts” this sweet man has given me – and not doubt I will continue to be granted many more firsts through him.

Some of the firsts he has given me are:

1. My first  prom experience

2. My first dance

3. The first time I ever held a boy’s hand (and wanted to)

4. The first time a guy ever told me he loves me

5. The first time I ever told a guy I love him too

6. My first kiss

7. My first time making French Macaroons

8. My first time trying Vegemite and Turkish delight

9. The first time anyone has ever read me stories

10. The first time I had ever realized I am not alive if I don’t have this young man’s love

So, so many firsts given to me by this one person, and so very many yet to come.

My first and my only.

My first and my only.

 

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An Act of Kindness

As many of you are aware, it is football season. This past Friday was not only a game night for my home town, it was homecoming. There was a young man on the football team who was more than a little nervous. This is a big game for the high school, and as a senior, he wanted to make sure he played his best.

The game begins and is intense right from the start. The two opposing teams battle it out. In one of the plays, the senior I mentioned at the beginning, was running for a touchdown before a member of the opposing team pushed him out-of-bounds. The play didn’t stop there, however. The opposing player kept on driving the young man until he had him pinned up against the fence, and still didn’t stop. The victim’s teammates went crazy! They rushed to the aid of this young man and started a scuffle that ended in the suspension of a player from each team.

When the game continued, it was fueled with the excitement of the scuffle. The hits became harder, and the blocks became stronger. Then a player went down. This player was on the opposing team, and when he fell, he went completely limp. He was carried away in an ambulance, but never moved throughout the entire process. There was a rumor going around that his neck had been broken.

The game went on, and in the end, the home team was victorious. They had won their homecoming game, and everything was great. Spectators and parents went wild and then everyone started to flee from the coming rain, all except for the senior who was run into the fence. He stopped amid the chaos to remember the player who had fallen.

I was on my way over to him when my sight of the field was momentarily obstructed as I walked under the bleachers. Suddenly I noticed the entire crowd had gone silent, even the excited announcer has stopped rambling remarks mid-sentence! I don’t know why, but I panicked and ran to get to the other side of the stands so I could see the field. This is what I saw. Off to the side a little ways, both teams were kneeling closely together, their school colors intertwined. In the center of that huddle was that senior boy. His eyes were closed, his helmet was in his hand, and he was praying with a force that would have made any non-believer fall to their knees.

I watched in amazement. Here was this senior boy who was rammed into a fence by this team, yet he was praying for the safety, health, and recovery of one of their players. He was putting everything aside to raise an injured player who wasn’t even one of his teammates up to God. He was performing the most wonderful act of kindness I had ever seen in my life. Tears started falling from my eyes as I watched this incredibly strong young man perform this delicate act of kindness. I am so blessed to be able to call that young man my boyfriend, and blessed to have been able to witness this act of kindness that changed something in my heart.

In the end, only this amazing young man knows if he played his best, but that night he showed everyone there how to be a good teammate as well as a good opponent, and how much any act of kindness can impact so many lives around you. No matter how good you play, sometimes the game is forgotten, but I know that act will not so soon be forgotten.

Sadly, I was not carrying my camera with me at that perfect moment, but I will carry this memory and the image it engraved on my heart always, and I will take that act and learn from it.

My inspiration

My inspiration

Side Note: The injured player did not break his neck. He luckily suffered only from mild swelling in his spinal cord at the base of his neck and is expected to make a full recovery.


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A Girl Who Reads

The other day I was going through and finding a bunch of quotes for no other reason than to amuse myself, when I happened upon this one by Rosemarie Urquico. I read through this rather interesting passage, and that’s when it hit me. She was talking about me – or at least her words unknowingly describe me completely. I thought I would share it for everyone who happens upon it. Who knows, it might speak to you, too.

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“You should date a girl who reads.
Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes, who has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she has found the book she wants. You see that weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a secondhand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow and worn.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent.  Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry and in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who read understand that all things must come to end, but that you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.”

– Rosemarie Urquico

(Image credit to Vendla Stockdale of Vendla Stockdale Photography)

(Image credit to Vendla Stockdale of Vendla Stockdale Photography)

 


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New Perspective on St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is an Irish holiday that celebrates the life and trials of St. Patrick. There was once a time when the holiday was Christian and Catholic, but could it be those days are over? St. Patrick was once represented in and with the color blue. How did green find its way into the mix? What about those clovers? It is said St. Patrick used the shamrock to symbolize the holy trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Now, all you see in St. Patrick’s Day are four-leafed clovers and hear of nothing but the “luck of the Irish.” Has this holiday been transformed into something else…something totally different?

Image credited to rightful owner.

Image credited to rightful owner.

The Irish were once (and perhaps some still are) a people who stood firm in their tales and folklore – something I’ve always admired them for. What if their stories have truth in them? What if the “good folk”, or leprechaun, and the fey are real. Perhaps these beings the Irish folklore warned us about are real, and perhaps they have taken over a once blessed holiday.

Call me crazy, but here is the fun way I like to look at it. What was once a peaceful holiday, has been taken over by the mischievous leprechaun people and the beautiful yet brutal faerie folk. Since green is the usual color for the leprechaun and is more of the earth for the fey, blue was replaced with green. The holy three-leafed shamrock was cast out and in its place the four-leafed clover was erected. The four-leafed clover is said to allow a human to gain the sight, in other words, it allows humans to see the otherwise invisible-unless-want-to-be-seen fey. As for the “luck of the Irish,” well that was added in there by the good folk who, if pleased, would reward the person who benefited them with a happy and prosperous life. What about the parades and celebrations, you may ask? Well, everyone knows that the fey look completely different from humans in skin color, hair, ect. So, just like they do on Hallowe’en, the fey take advantage of the costumes and crazy dress of the celebrations to disguise their different and lovely selves.

Now that should get you wondering.

 

©Lindsay Amber


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Spring’s Slow Arrival

The world is coming to life; can you feel it? With every passing hour, she wakens more and more from the deepest of deep sleeps that Winter has put her in. The duvet of snow that was cast upon her has vanished. The sun is finally able to break apart the grey blanket of clouds and settle on the Earth’s cold skin.

With the warming of the soil, the creatures who lay dormant in the ground beneath begin to stir as well. Little by little the world turns green, and little by little, life begins to push away the sleepy cold who has held his grip on the Earth for far too long.

With the first tulip bud that rises from the soil, another will surly follow. One after another, the flowers begin to appear. The bees and the birds welcome their arrival with open arms. Happy is the sound of the feasting insects and birds upon the sweet nectar of the new blooms.

Spring has come and with her the boon of sunshine, warmth, and the promise of a summer-y  future.

Fall 016

© Lindsay Amber


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Dark in Her Days {Part 2}

d30I want to hide the truth; I want to shelter you, but with the beast inside…there’s nowhere we can hide.”  – Imagine Dragons


“Inside of what…Inside of me?” Rayna breathed, exasperated by this guys strangeness, and with a fear that he was telling the truth and really did know something about her that even she didn’t know about herself. “You don’t even know my name! You can’t claim to know anything about me at all!”

“Your name is Rayna. You have a blackness inside you. Humans call it depression. But, it is not humans who get this type of ‘depression’…No…Only greenhorns experience this darkness, and it is not what some humans think it is.” Ronan told her, becoming very serious as he spoke.

He finally let his hand slip from Rayna’s arm, leaving a burning mark only she could feel.

“Look, I don’t know what you’re talking about. If you’re playing some weird joke on me…it’s totally not funny. There are much easier and more normal ways to meet girls at a new school.”

With that, Rayna began walking hesitantly towards her English class, but stopped short when Ronan whispered, “You’re not one of them, Rayna. You’re different. The dark inside of you isn’t something a doctor can fix, nor does it need fixin’.”

Rayna slowly turned around and met his fierce green eyes. “What are you talking about? I’m already way late for my class, so you’d better spill it.”

“Like I was sayin’ before. You’re what we call a greenhorn. You’re not human, but you’re not completely like me. This darkness inside you isn’t human either.” Ronan never let his eyes shift from hers.

“You’re still not making any sense. Greenhorn? What the heck is that? And you’re acting all weird. So what you’re telling me is that you’re not human…but how can that even be possible? What would that make you? What would that make me?” Rayna’s voice began to tremble. Whatever Ronan was getting at, she was ready for him to stop. This was too much. He was crazy…right?

“No. I’m not human…and neither are you. Well not completely anyway.” A strange smile began to play on Ronan’s face now. “I am fey. You are a greenhorn – a young half-bred who hasn’t learned to master her darkness yet.”

“Ya, okay. You are a fairy and I am a half-fairy. Very funny. I’m leaving.” Rayna tries again to leave but Ronan keeps talking and what he’s saying makes it hard for her to keep moving.

“Never say that! I am not a fairy! I hate that word! I am fey; part of the Aphotic race of faeries. A fairy is a fair a happy little creature – that is nowhere near who I am! Anyway, this darkness inside of you is your Aphotic inheritance. You see, the Aphotics are a dark race of fey. No particularly evil, just sentenced to do the dark biddin’s of the earth, like putting the forests and creatures to sleep before the winter, coverin’ the earth in the shadows of night, and carryin’ the messages that summon Death to the mortal world.”

Ronan stopped here to see how Rayna was taking it. Her mouth was slightly open and she had a look of shock and understanding mixed into her expression. Seeing as how she was at a loss for words, and didn’t seem like she was going to try to walk away on him again, Ronan continued.

“Mortals call your darkness depression, not knowin’ or understandin’ what it really is. You were born with it inside of you, therefore it cannot be depression, somethin’ that comes on later in a mortal life. Now that you are of age, your darkness is tryin’ to come out so you can take your place in the other half of your life, the half you will stay in for as long as you continue to exist.

“Many greenhorns will die by their own doin’ if they are not reached in time. The dark inside of them – that which is inside of you – must be brought out and conquered before it consumes the weak part of your mortal mind, ultimately leadin’ you into destroyin’ yourself.”

Rayna stood staring at him for a while, and Ronan let her, waiting for the hysteric laughter, tear, or arguing that accompany this conversation with all the other greenhorns he’s had to find. He waits longer, but Rayna’s response is slow to come and when it does, it’s not what he’s expecting at all. Quietly, Rayna places the books she’s been grasping in her arms gently on the ground beside her feet. She stands up tall and walks towards him. She stops in front of him a little ways and holds out her arm to him. He looks at the tips of her fingers, ready to grasp his, and then looks back into her pale blue eyes, searching for an explanation and a clue on how to react. She stares back. Her voice is soft and quiet, on the verge of tears, when she answers his unspoken question.

“Then I’ll do what I must to bring it out. Everything you say…it’s everything I feel. My ‘dark days’ are what I call them, and they are visiting me more often than ever. I can’t hold on much longer and I am willing to trust you if it means getting rid of this dark rotting me from the inside.”

Ronan gently reaches for her hand still outstretched towards him. He takes it in his, intertwining his strong fingers into her delicate ones, and catches a glimpse of a small tear falling from her eye lash right before she reaches up and quickly brushes it away.

©Lindsay Amber


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Dark in Her Days {Part 1}

d29“When you feel my heat, look into my eyes – it’s where my demons hide, it’s where my demons hide. Don’t get too close, it’s dark inside – it’s where my demons hide, it’ where my demons hide.”  – Imagine Dragons

There are the good days, full of happiness and content, and then there are the “dark days,” as Rayna calls them. Days where nothing is right on the inside. She can pull herself together for her friends, laugh at there not-so-funny jokes, and give them all her smiles. She can come home to her family, love them and enjoy their company. But it is all a mask; a clever trick of the light that she has been able to pull off since she was a little child.

Rayna has walked the earth for eighteen years with that same happy glow on the outside, but with a blackness on the inside. No one sees it, no one knows. Her dark days come when she’s least expecting them, making her mask ever stronger for the coming attacks. She wants help; she wants someone to see through her shell and into her being, but no one can and she’s afraid to look for the help she so desperately needs. She doesn’t want to be “that girl” who needs medication to be happy, or be shamed for her harmful thoughts of prematurely calling on death.

It’s Monday, and another dark day for her. They seem to be coming more often as of late. She gets up, pulls on the mask, and prepares for another long day of school and struggles no one will ever see. She walks down the crowded halls, smiling at every passer-by until she reaches her locker. That’s when she sees him, a boy with pale skin and knowing eyes. She’s sure she has never seen him around before. Suddenly she hears her best friend Chelsea’s harsh voice in her ear,

“Freaky, right?”

“What do you mean?” she answers, a little startled at Chelsea’s silent approach.

“The new kid you were just staring at. I’ve heard his name is Ronan. Just moved here from Ireland – I think. I thought he would be cool, but I’ve talked to him and he’s a total jerk! Totally a waste of breath! Oh well, what can you do? Anyway, better get to class. See you at lunch!” and with that, Chelsea makes her way into the science lab.

Chelsea was always bursting with energy and told it how she saw it. She could be a bit overpowering at times, but that’s just what Rayna needed. She felt like she could hide behind Chelsea’s huge presence if her mask was ever to waver.

Rayna realized the bell was about to ring and the only way to get to her English class was to pass by the new kid who was still staring. She collected her books from her locker, and clutching them tightly to her, made her way to class, trying desperately not to make eye contact with the new guy – Ronan. There was something about his eyes that she didn’t quite like…a knowing gaze she had never had to face before.

She was almost to him. She could make it, no big deal. That’s when his arm reached out and caught hers. The books in her grasp went tumbling to the floor after her hold was loosened in her shock. The bell had rung and the halls were clear; there was no one to save her if she should need them. She searched herself and found the courage to look into his face. Once her pale blue eyes meet his fierce green ones, he started speaking to her. Rayna had expected his voice to be as fierce and demanding as his eyes. Instead she was surprised to find it calm and controlled, laden with that becoming Irish accent.

Then she realized what he was saying.

“I see what it is like on the inside. You don’t need to hide it from me. I’m Ronan. Sorry for freaking you out with my staring…that’s one of my habits I can’t seem to break because I can’t seem to realize when it’s happnin’. I can help you. I know what’s really going on inside.”

©Lindsay Amber