The Time of My Life

Everything will change. It's one thing I'm sure of. When life is hard and must be endured, I'm thankful for the change that I know will come. It helps me carry on. When life is beautiful, I am caught up, captivated. It's hard to surrender those moments to the passing of time.

I remember. Laying under the Southern Cross on a hot summer night in Canberra, Australia, and the kiss that would change my life, albeit at the time I didn't know it.

I remember. Tilting my head to tickle his tummy with my hair, tiny hands pressed against my face, a squeal of laughter, my infant son.

I remember. The feel of my grandpa's hand in mine, his skin paper thin, blue veined, tremulous, the moment he sighed and died as I quietly sang to him.

I remember. My mom, body curled and ruined, but oh the brilliance of her smile, the love in it, the day I finally gave her permission to leave us. We'll be okay, I promised. It was the truth and a lie. I miss her. I miss her.

I remember. Sitting atop my father's grave, running my fingers through tufted grass, wishing things had been different, that he might have found a way to love me in a way that I could understand and feel, knowing that whatever chance we had was gone like so much dandelion fluff blown away by the wind. I wish...

I remember. The wind in my sun-bleached hair, arms tightly wrapped around my big brother, the wobble of the motorcycle when we hit gravel, a scream, a whoop of joy, a cloud of dust, flying down the trail.

I remember. The jungle, overripe and rotting, small brown hands patterned by scabies, picking head lice from the giant puff of her mother's hair, the flash of white smiles in nut brown faces. They were my friends and I always looked for them. One day I came and the little one wasn't there. It was malaria her mother said with sad eyes. I was shattered to think of her gone, that beautiful little one, and I cried so hard. Her mother touched my tears and said with wonder, do children not die in your village in America?

In a few days we'll mark a new year; hello 2010.

Everything will change and I no longer fear it. I want to feel EVERYTHING, take it all in. This life is a gift, every little bit of it. The only waste of life is a failure to really live it.

©Just Kate, 2009

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    About Me

    I love laughter, wickedness, fearlessness, irreverence, and kindness. I love road trips where I can prop my bare feet up on the dashboard. I love the feel of sunshine warm against my bare skin, the smell of the mountains and the roar of the ocean. I love to read. I love to challenge conventional thinking. I'm a huge fan of spirituality but have little tolerance for religion. I love to talk faith and philosophy. I love children. I get bored far too easily. I love debate and people who don't try too hard. I love it when people aren't afraid to disagree with me and know why they believe what they believe.

    Music

    Things that sound like music to me: rain on a tin roof, the trill of birds first thing in the morning, the coo and gurgle of happy babies, the beat of African drums, the roar of the ocean as the tide ebbs and flows, the sound of a rushing river, unrestrained laughter, the wind moving through leaves, the tick-tock of my grandma's old clock, the crash of thunder, a quiet whisper in my ear, the contented purr of a cat, the musical ting ting of wind chimes, children laughing, the sizzle sizzle sound of something yummy cooking, and the rustle of dry leaves under my feet.

    I also enjoy many musicians and bands including: Ray LaMontagne, Jason Mraz, The Black Eyed Peas, John Mayer, James Carrington, CCR, REM. My favorite genre is acoustic folk/rock.

    Favorite Quotes

    "We are what we repeatedly do; excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." —Aristotle

    "The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering." - Ben Okri

    "What we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do."—John Ruskin