I have heard myself say many times over the course of this semester, “focus on the rainbows.”
I dunno if maybe it’s fate or coincidence or whatever – I like to think Jesus has my back when I’m anxious and praying for something good – but I’ve found a lot of rainbows. I’ve definitely found enough to balance out the bad things that have been going down recently.
It’s easy to forget. It’s easy to lock myself in the work room or a bathroom stall or my car and just wallow in it, when it hits. It’s easy to just let go and ride it out instead of fighting it, until I remember – remind myself, really – that I’m letting it control me, and I hate to be controlled.
Fiercely independent, I am.
the gallery: snippets of november and december
the nitty gritty:
Pastor came in to Brew N’ Bake last Monday with a hug and a question.
What is the number one lesson I’ve learned from Dragon Slayers in the last year?
That was a ridiculously impossible question to answer, not because I haven’t learned anything, but because I’ve learned so much.
I’ve learned that people come first, but that doesn’t mean you can or should neglect your responsibilities for them. Adventures are best when spontaneous. Music is most enjoyable when it’s loud. The most delicious of meals will often be spent crowded around the table of a messy house, but everyone will be laughing and so they won’t notice or care. Poetry sounds best under the trees, in the sunshine, by a lake plagued with quacking ducks.
I’ve learned that mornings are best spent alone, with Jesus, and the days don’t necessarily go smoother, but they’re easier to navigate when they’re started off with him. Car rides of any distance are most enjoyable with the windows down. Backseats should be strewn with belongings, because you never know when you’ll need the half-full tissue box or the 500-page novel or the extra change of clothes or the tennis balls or-.
Always carry cash. Cross-stitch in the middle of the coffee shop; in spite of what you think, nobody will look twice. Trust is hard to give; protect it. Never let your gas drop to below a quarter of a tank. Trust is hard to earn; don’t break it. Wear flower crowns with blue jeans, because you want to. Treat yo’self to coffee, but don’t over do it. You will feel the most at peace with yourself when you’ve learned transparency.
There’s so much, and I know it all seems random. None of it seems like it matters. They all seem like little, insignificant, common knowledge lessons that shouldn’t have to be actively learned.
But they did, and I learned them, and the reason I associate them with Dragon Slayers is because I didn’t learn them alone.
I learned these lessons in the passenger seat of Giselle’s car with the windows down, wind whipping my hair into a tangled mess. I learned them sitting at the tall table in Brew N’ Bake, crying with Pastor while the Dragon Slayers laughed at the table beside us. I learned them standing on the stage at church, singing to my Jesus. I learned them in the WC at the college, and up at The Spot, surrounded by these people I have grown to love so deeply.
I can’t wrap my brain around how far we’ve all come in a year. I can’t even begin to understand how we’ve had so many ups and so many downs in such a short time frame, and I am uncertain how to explain the strangeness of it all. Because it feels like we’ve been at this forever, but it also feels like Pastor called our first meeting yesterday.
I can still remember it; I remember walking into Brew N’ Bake for that first meeting, just me and Seth and Giselle. It was gray outside, and wet. It was cold everywhere, and I wanted to be anywhere other than where I was.
I can still remember when Madison joined us, and we had a full table of six. We started reading about Vanya, and I roped them into blackout poetry. We embarked on our first adventure; I began to combat the desire to run.
I can still remember as we grew closer, and we spent most of our time together. I remember Seth being the only boy I would give my trust to for a long time, and I remember riding in his truck (RIP, Daisy) and listening to him tell me about the stories that currently exist only in his mind. I remember the first time Giselle showed up on my doorstep unannounced, and she sat on my couch while I taught piano students. I remember weekly ice cream dates with Madison after Bible study, when we’d both end up crying in random parking lots because neither of us wanted to go home, and there were so many things for us to say.
I remember as our group grew bigger, other faces drifting in and out, revolving around the four of us. Maybe it’s selfish, but I always loved it when it was just the four of us, and Pastor and Mrs. Cindy – I’ve always felt like our little group could take on the world armed with nothing but love and laughter.
now we’ve fractured a little bit. There are cracks in our foundation, but we’re working on fixing them. Now we’re all busy, with work and school and our other circles of friends. Now our priorities have shifted a little, and that isn’t bad, it just is; it happens. Now we fight a little more and hang out a little less, but –
but we’re still Dragon Slayers. We’re still knit together, and I’m still fighting for us.
/// long live all the mountains we moved; i had the time of my life fighting dragons with you ~