Grow up

The weirdest part of it all is the massively personal nature of growing up. Every human being in the history of the planet has met that moment in life where they paused and thought, terrified, about the future rushing so dangerously toward them. And every human has realized in an instant how terribly near adulthood had grown, and how temporary everything really is. How insignificant. And despite the frequency of these soul-shattering, intensely huge moments; despite this, every single time a child’s heart breaks, to be replaced by the heart of an adult, it feels like the first time. The only time. Every transitioning human believes for a moment that their journey has been the only journey, that this moment is unique to them and them alone; that they, somehow, are different in their jarring realization of reality. And in a way, they are right, despite the likenesses of every other terrified teen that has gone before. Now, for the current petrified youth, it’s just a question of growing up in such a way that the growing is toward the light; and taking that stone cold terror and making it something good and productive for the world to hold onto after our wisp-of-smoke lives are over. 

Purpose is

Purpose is family

Bloodshot eyes at 3 am, rubbing circles

As a mother treads heavily into the kitchen

To ask if you’re anywhere near done with that project.

Purpose is love

An eight year old whose eyes light up

When you walk in the room, soon to be

Tackled by an energetic bundle of youth. 

Purpose is weather

Whipping, lashing rain that imprisons you indoors with the love of your life

Snow that lets the sun glint off it so brightly you must squint to dodge snowballs

A bright, clean day full of flapping leaves and swaying trees. 

Purpose is creation

A brand new work of art, strokes and notes and words just so

Never before seen or heard or brought to life with gentle, genuine lips

An otherwise lifeless arrangement given humanity by curious eyes. 

Purpose is service

Worn, battered, wounded and scarred; men and women who risked everything

Smiling as you refill someone’s drink through the drive-through

Bending your back so the elderly once-mother no longer has to do so. 

Purpose is life

Inhaling it in with the best of them; 

Crying as touching sappy movies explore family and forgiveness

Wiping your eyes after a night of grief to let them see the new dawn

Resting and relaxing so that tough times can be endured. 

Purpose is grace

Unfettered, reckless and raucous and loud and pronounced

Unashamedly calling to everyone

Redeeming, recalling, renewing, reviving

Loving. 

Purpose is. 

Purpose is life, love, family, creation, service, surroundings, grace. 

Your purpose is to live. 

Blades of Memory

Why do the grass blades remind me of you

As the wind flows and taps on their heads?

Why does the rain as it falls sing your name

Why does my stomach refuse cheese and bread?

The pavement is warm and the steam rises slow

My thoughts of you break me, my spirits are low.

The cold touches my arms and I shiver alone

Wishing your embrace in the place of a coat.