birds in the sycamore tree

“It started a year ago. I lost all awareness of time and the space around me. All I could see was his trembling body aching for help. It was my brother’s fifth seizure, a battle that he was in the midst of conquering for years. The control I took at that moment was beyond my personal relationship with him and the pain coursing through my heart, the control was my ache to heal. Since that day, I have had the ambition to heal, heal the broken, and heal people in dire need. ”

I wrote this a month ago for a scholarship essay. Even though it has become “normal” for my family, it’s not easy for me to talk about.

Three days ago was mothers day. Three days ago was also an anniversary.

May 10th was easily one of the harder days that I faced in my short lifetime despite the loss that I have experienced.

Death was introduced to me at a young age and has been one of the more consistent concepts in my life: my grandmothers, my grandfather, my aunt, a friend.

But this was worse. Grieving loss is one thing but the anxiety that is paired with the potential and fear of death is a much larger burden to bear.

Over the past 6 years, I have internalized many emotions and fears that I have for his life: Once I speak of my fears do they come true? Is his safety my responsibility? When does care cross into obsessive anxiety?

Eventually, I found acceptance. But it wasn’t easy.

Three days ago, we celebrated mother’s day with … peace and gratitude. I held my tongue as we sat under the sycamore trees while the birds sang above us and simply enjoyed what God had given us.

photo credit: fineartamerica.com

Evening Runs

Sundays are long runs.

I usually end up doing them in the evening much later than I should. I tell myself I’m being strategical and avoiding the heat, but if that was true I would run in the morning (that RARELY happens). In reality, my procrastination and dread for long runs are the reason why my long runs happen in the evening.

Yesterday though, my run was pleasant. I never thought I’d say these words, but it was almost enjoyable.

Around 7:55 I told myself, “Bella, get up, you’re running.” I grabbed my headphones, running watch, a headlamp, and started to run.

It was cool weather.

My music was good.

It was dark to the point where I could see my shoes and three feet ahead of me, but nothing else.

I had no light to see my watch screen, so I just ran. I didn’t constantly check to see my mileage or pace, or how much time I had left: I simply just ran.

And then there were the shadows.

What I’m going to say next will sound like some philosophical bs but while I was running it totally made sense, if you’re a runner, you know that the mind starts to lose sanity after about five miles.

The newly set sun and distant street lights served as an invitation for three shadows to join me. One ran about four feet behind me, one right by my side, and one ran far in front of me.

I stared at the three shadows for a good twenty minuets because, like I said, running is a tedious thing that causes a bit of insanity, and I started to think.

I thought about my progress with running, the struggles I’ve faced with it, where I am, and where I want to be.

The shadow behind me represented where I started: my first time running without someone forcing me to do it, the first time I competed in a race, and all of the first steps I took in my running journey.

The middle shadow right next to me represented where I am now: I am not in as great of shape as I was at my peak, but I’m in better shape that when I started. I am working to improve my skills.

The shadow in front of me represents where I want to be: my goals, the times I want to achieve, races I want to compete in, and mental toughness that I want to acquire with my running.

On my evening long run, in my philosophical state, I stared ahead and placed one foot in front of the other, in a rhythmical pattern, as I chased down my running goals and the shadow that ran ahead of me.

Photo via runningmagazine.ca

the wind gives me faith.

they keep saying that as time passes, it gets harder. but for me, it had become easier, simpler, more tangible.  

I sat in my backyard yesterday at two o’clock in the afternoon while the wind was still and the sky was baby blue. 

I sunk my feet into the damp grass, satisfying to my callused feet.

a chai tea in hand; I slowly, with a green straw, stirred my drink with the ice that acted like it was one figure. 

content. 

but then the wind came, unexpected, abrupt. 

It stirred the scorched leaves from the early summer sun and had rested in the dirt.

the pink peppercorns and the pine needles fell from the trees. 

on the outside, it looked like the wind disturbed the plants, the grass, and bright orange marigolds that sit in the corner of the garden. 

but I stared longer at each aspect of my backyard, the wind melded everything together. 

the trees swayed together and the tall strands of grass danced with it. 

harmony.

It was hard for me to cope with a life that seemed stagnant at the time,

still like the wind that was not present when I sipped my chai tea. 

but I find joy in the little things like the birds chirping as I rise from my bed in the morning or the luck that I have after winning my fifth cribbage game. 

of course, I still wear a backpack of burdens that I impose on myself but that’s what it means to be human. 

serenity. 

photo credit: designlovefest.com

strange little thing

I woke up late this morning, and everything just seems a little bit weird to me. 

I was eating my cereals with black grapes in it, and somebody knocked on the door. 

I reluctantly put down my cereal bowl and got up to answer the door. It was two package delivery guys with two gigantic TREES. 

Right, trees, taller than me, I saw two actual trees outside of my door. I even wonder how they fit them into the elevator.

PC: adsttc.com

They checked the address with me, and that was correct indeed. 

I thought this is a prank from my silly friends or something. So I asked them who ordered these trees, and they told me that they didn’t know, they just knew they need to deliver them to here. 

I called my mom, and she said just put them on the balcony. 

Am I still dreaming? 

Anyway, I couldn’t just let two delivery guys wait too long. So I told them to put the trees where my mom told me. And then they left. 

So… now I’m sitting outside with these trees, and writing down what just happened here.

Lost April

dailymail.co.uk

A dove died today and I realized I’d lost April.

It was flying through the air at full force, I think because something was chasing it. It hit the window with a loud bang and fell to the ground below with a much softer sound, feathers swirling all the way down. It left behind a perfect imprint of wings fully splayed as they smacked into the inch-thick glass above my kitchen sink.

So Dad picked up its body and threw it onto the roof for the hawk on the telephone wire to see. If a dove had to die, he said, it might as well provide for something else.

The hawk seemed young to me when it came some minutes later and carried the other bird away. I looked up and tried to see where spring had gone.

It’s hard for me to tell days from other days when the sky is like this, the color of a dead dove and completely still. I can’t remember how many weeks it’s been and today I wrote that it was May.

I looked at the calendar to see that it was the 19th and finally I realized we are in April. An entire month has gone by and to me it’s felt like one very long day.

I’m hoping for blue skies tomorrow.

Perspective

From my solemn post, alone on a sun baked cliff, 

I can see further than light.

As happenstance and hot horseflies circle,

I can feel those hills burst forth into mountains.

And I can hear the trees fall on deaf ears.

From my perch,

three or so feet glare at my toes.

A rigid sun hides shadows adeptly.

And the wind is coaxed by the birds.

Sure, perspective can be height. 

There is altitude to be gained.

But as he increases his distance from the ground, the gravel and grass where his body will land is obscured.

a diary from isolation

White pillowy clouds and pink petals on the warm brick as the sun beats down is her back drop,
As she rattles on about the corrupt world filled with 
a dark persistence.

/ / / 

Its been seventeen days, four-hundred and eight hours in this house and its been miserable.

The anger, the loneliness, and the disconnect are empty feelings that course through my veins on a loop as I try to navigate life.

I miss them. I miss their laughter and smiles. I miss their clothes. I miss their smell.

My tears burned my cheeks at 11pm. It was the first time I cried. It was the first time I felt completely unsafe and scared.

My body aches for human contact.

photo credit: pinterest.com

/ / /

As a daughter, I go through moments of my life where I don’t see eye to eye with my mother. And I thinks that’s true for most mother-daughter relationships.

The passive comments, the snarky looks, the aggressive sighs; They never fail me when I’m in the middle of a petty argument with her.

I find myself picking on her, never giving her a break, and trying to erase her imperfections like the comfort she finds in rubbing my ears or clenching her jaw when she is stressed.

But earlier today, I found myself rubbing my own ears and snuggling into her neck when I felt alone. I find myself having her mannerisms and saying the things that when she says them, it irritates me. We come from the same branch at the end of the day.

Her and I, 
We come from the same branch at the end of the day. 

/ / /

I was staring at my wall today, full of photos from the past four years. 
The color from Utah, 
The smiles from my girls who know me best,
To the heat of a concert and 
The breeze from the beach. 
I felt warm inside looking at the 
Blue and Orange hues
Only to realize the cold reality.