The sunrise will peek through your curtains. It’ll bounce on your bed. Giggle. Nudge. Tell you to get up, get moving. There are mountains. You need to climb them. Slide your feet into slippers and shuffle to kitchen through the remnants of your dreams. Then make yourself some coffee. Add a splash of words and a spoonful of stories. Sip on love and gulp down tragedy. Savor strong character and sweet simplicity. Let compassion wake you up.
Walk outside and plant your feet on this Earth. Feel its rivers sync with your heartbeat and its rocks harden your grit. Take its beauty and spread it like seeds. Spread the genuine, the unguarded and the wild. Spread attentive thoughts and daring ideas. Spread conversations that matter. Watch them bloom into a spider web of connections that’ll snag the most extraordinary of people. Keep the extraordinary people close.
There will be times that the Earth wants to pick a fight. It’ll pinch you with sand flies and your entire body will itch. It’ll test your patience with days so hot that your sweat begins to sweat and your friend, the sun, is a cigarette; you its ash tray. Or else days so icy you start to think your friend, the sun, has run away. Has left you alone. Left you to the snowflakes collecting on your doorstep and the cold cracking on your windows and the winter closing on your now frosted heart. Rocks will trip you. Hail will pound you. Waves will push you under. But hold your breath and watch your feet and you’ll be alright.
Because the Earth teaches in the same way as the tough coach, the ruthless professor, the no-nonsense parents. It pushes you. Provokes you. Makes you want to be stronger. Want to know more. You’ll want to know how to hang a mosquito net. You’ll want to know if you should worry about the leeches spotting your body, if you should check the sheets for bed bugs. You’ll want to know how high is too high; so you’ll jump to find out and end up with bruises. You’ll want to escape the goddamn heat; so you’ll search for the best swimming hole. You’ll find it in the shade of the woods; jump off the rope swing into ice water that will rob you of your breath and send you gasping back to life. You’ll forgive the Earth for its punches.
And when the day is over, when your skin is chapped, when your feet are dirty and your body is worn, hang your hammock between the stars and talk to the moon about the universe. Ask if the Milky Way tastes like chocolate and if shooting stars can sing. Ask if hearts spin like planets. If gravity pulls on souls. Ask how to burn as bright as the sun. How to light up the sky. How to help things to grow.
Send a thanks to whatever force keeps us all together. Thank it for the strength of your body. Legs made for walking far and walking often. Arms made for climbing to the highest point and out. Eyes made for seeing the glow of the world fade to golden; that catch on the smiles of strangers; that understand the unspoken words held in the eyes of the friends you can read like books. Thank it for the moments you feel simultaneously dwarfed and empowered. When the wind threatens to pick you up and spin you out. When your lungs are full and your legs are shaking.
And you breathe.
Image credit: Michael Matti / Flickr CC 2.0