The legs of his chair banged against the floor as he moved to sit as close to her as the plastic surfaces they sat on would allow, wrapping his arms around her waist and resting his cheek against her shoulder.And this moment was like a drug to her, like an intravenous drip running into her veins restoring her faith in humanity and kindness and beauty and the world slowly and all at once. And his arms around her were like a shelter, a fortress that when the winds raged outside of her windows and the rain beat against the panes and the world was carrying on as if it was in the middle of a hurricane, kept her safe and dry. And inside his arms the world made sense and sometimes when the world is hard all it takes to give you that push to keep going is knowing that someone is on your side.
It’s a pair of arms to go home to after a long day and it’s the hand to hold as you walk through the hallways of a place where everyone is trying to convince you to be someone other than yourself. And it’s those eyes that return you to your center, even when you feel as though you’ve lost your island and you’re lost in this storm with the raging winds and the rain. It’s having a person, someone who believes in you when you don’t quite believe in yourself and someone who reminds you of all the reasons why you’re worth loving when you seem to have forgotten them.
And it’s the harbor and it’s coming home and to her, he was all of that. And as he wrapped his arms around her and ran his fingers through her hair and kissed her pale skin, he was reminding her of the million and one ways she deserved to be loved.
And sometimes the world hits hard and the raging storm becomes a hurricane, a force of nature like no other, and it’s all anyone can do to stay standing. And sometimes the harbor cracks under the pressure and it just becomes two children lost in a storm. And so she cradles his head in her hands, pouring back into him the strength he infused into her. She moves her hands in small, meticulous circles over his ink black hair and her lips are moving but I can’t make out the sound and all of it appears to be like some kind of secret promise. Because when the world hits you hard and knocks you down and it’s all you can do to get out of bed in the morning and still believe in the good and the beautiful, you find safety in company. And where his heart was jaded and broken fit perfectly with the scars and jagged edges on her own and as his strength bore into her, her strength poured into him and it was this dance, a tender game of give and take.
And she sat up and looked him in the eye and she lifted her fingers and placed them on his chest, in the very spot his heart is. And his heartbeat pounded against her hand and in these life giving beats she was reminded of how beautiful life is and of the fragility and tenderness of being tragically human and how sometimes all it takes to believe in yourself is having another person believe in you.
Like two children in a storm they huddled together, creating their own force of nature, their own shelter from the incoming hurricane. With broken pieces and jagged edges and the jaded fragments of themselves that didn’t belong, a safe harbor was built.
With his heartbeat under her fingers and his arms around her waist, she found the courage within her to calm even the deadliest sea. She found a thread called beauty and a string called hope and a piece of ribbon labeled love and she used them to stitch up whatever had been inside of her that had broken.
And I guess they had been right when they said all you need is love.
Sometimes you have moments when you lose yourself. Among piles of homework and crowded halls and the lack of sleep and the infection that is taking its toll, you become someone you didn't know you could be a few months ago. Instead of thriving you're merely surviving and life becomes a gauntlet run of sorts, an obstacle course, something just to get through.
I woke up this morning not wanting to wake up. I hit the snooze button a few too many times. My stomach was in knots as I sat in my first class, untying the knot that had been made of the apron strings.
And in these moments, when life becomes just another task to check off your to-do list, you can forget about the beauty of humanity and the beauty in the world and all that has the potential to stir something within you and make you scream "Yes! I felt that. And I am more than just a collection of cells and tissues, I am a person."
I was sitting in the library, looking at a text book I wasn't reading, when I saw them. Two people sitting a few yards away from me. And inside of me they sparked a story.
They reminded me of the most beautiful thing, something I had forgotten as I paced in the trenches and was tossed around by a life that feels like you're juggling too many plates and sooner or later something is going to come crashing down.
They reminded me of the beauty in being tragically human, in being vulnerable and being fragile. And I felt something stir inside of me, something that reminded me that I, too, am a part of this human race and within me is the potential for that kind of beauty and that kind of love.
And life is hard and exhausting but it is also beautiful, if you look.
And I want to look. I want to see people that make me stare, unable to look away, and that make me fall in love with the world all over again, that stir within me stories and feelings that remind me that yes, I am human, and yes, this is what it means to be alive.
Sometimes, in the middle of an ordinary day when life seems un-ordinarily heavy, people come around who spark within you a fire that you can use to warm yourself and regain strength. They remind you that life is beautiful, and they make you fall so in love with the world and these people and this moment and this feeling that you can't even breathe.
So, to the couple in the library, thank you. Thank you for reminding me of the beauty that still exists, and for lighting a fire of strength and passion inside of me when I felt like I was slowly losing (myself, this battle, my hope, passion, strength and love).
Sometimes, if you open your eyes and look up, people will surprise you. There will be beauty, enough to remind you that you are human and of the reason that you do this day in and day out.
Become a beauty seeker and see love, and be love, and let it penetrate your being and then reflect it back out into the world.
Because sometimes all you really need is love.
I was asked to do a guest post for my friend Crystal's new blog with the topic "Keep Walking." It was published today, and you can check that out here