Count My Stitches, Cross My Heart

The thunder rumbles and I count my stitches. I cross my heart.


Even with a pattern to follow, I make mistakes. I drop stitches, I add one too many, I have to take them out and start again. At least this time the needle fails to draw blood. With each stitch the picture looks a little bit more like it should. I pull the needle and thread, I whisper prayers too close and wistful to say aloud.

The rain keeps falling and I listen to rainy day music.

Screen shot 2013-08-07 at 4.33.51 PM

“Dust to Dust”
The Civil Wars

It’s not your eyes
It’s not what you say
It’s not your laughter
That gives you away
You’re just lonely
You’ve been lonely too long
All your acting
Your thin disguise
All your perfectly-delivered lines
They don’t fool me
You’ve been lonely too long
Let me in the walls
You’ve built around
We can light a match
And burn them down
Let me hold your hand and dance ’round and ’round the flames
In front of us
Dust to dust
You’ve held your head up
You fought the fight
You bear the scars
You’ve done your time
Listen to me
You’ve been lonely too long
Let me in the walls
You’ve built around
We can light a match
And burn them down
Let me hold your hand and dance ’round and ’round the flames
In front of us
Dust to dust
You’re like a mirror
Reflecting me
Takes one to know one
So take it from me
You’ve been lonely
You’ve been lonely too long
We’ve been lonely too long

I drink it in, not unlike the flowers outside. It soothes me, this music, these words. Some new, some old, all very good, very me in this moment. I savor other people’s words.

I iron pleats in a happy new skirt. I fold clothes. Laundry is such a faithful constant. One thing that never goes away.

I ready the coffee to brew in the morning. This is a gift, a saving grace.

I rest in the quiet, summer afternoon. The rain hints of fall and cooler weather. As much as I love the reds, oranges, and yellows of the falling leaves, I’m not quite ready for them to come down. Because fall will usher in the flurry of classes, studying, and those dreaded nursing school tests.

Each inch closer means one more farewell. One more goodbye, one more river, one more road separating you from me.

And they’re going to better places
But our friends will be gone away
[ . . . ]
Been talkin’ ’bout the way things change
And my family lives in a different state
If you don’t know what to make of this
Then we will not relate

No, not just yet, please, let’s soak up this last bit of heat. Let’s create one more inside joke. May there be late night conversations and laughing until our sides hurt. Kindness, hugs, and plenty of malicious teasing. Time for stolen moments, shared meals, and stories retold.

The sun creeps out. I walk/run as colors streak, pounding the pavement with my feet. I scare bunnies, gnats really seem to like sticky me. I run too fast and walk too slow, never quite on pace. Isn’t that my life? In trying to push through, I lean too far forward, my lungs don’t get enough oxygen, even though my shirt says Breathe, I forget and unsurprisingly find a stitch in my side.

But as the day fades to dusk, the streetlights come on, and the fireflies begin their dance anew, this too becomes Holy Ground.

With all of my breath, With this heart in my chest, Every look in my eye, You’ll know why

I’m coming Your Way, I’m coming Your way, I’m coming Your way

“Coming Your Way” ~ Desperation Band

The prayer bubbles up out of the depths. Payers that this summer, these memories, these faces, this grace, and these hearts will etch themselves onto mine.

Count my stitches. Cross my heart.


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