Ask me what I want from life, and I’ll tell you I want the earth, untethered and whole.
I want hands in the dirt, and I want each layer of the earth’s crust to show me a layer of my own self. I want to dig and dig until I’m brown and golden from the sun and I’ve reached the depth of my soul with my own two hands calloused and shaking.
I want laughing flowers under moonlight. I want late-night walks while I’m falling in love and vases of sunflowers on the table, and when the sunflowers dry, I want the crispy orange petals to dance as they fall off. I want the death of them to be soft and beautifully unnoticed. I want water from streams, and I want the crunch of hiking boots underneath me, and I want stories around a fire.
I want to climb rocks and stand atop mountain peaks. I want to write books and poems and letters to loved ones with coffee and wine stains and scribbled ink. I want time—lots of time—to observe the world and write about it. I want to ask strangers questions and sit at coffee shops in towns I’ve never been in and drink espresso and read old books as I scribble notes in the margins. I want road trips and exploration. I want gas station snacks in a ghost town and airplane rides so long I finish two books and become best friends with my seatmate.
I want to move through grief like it is a dance I’ll never perfect. I want roses sent as blessings to the ocean, and I want my heart to crack open like the parting of the sea. I want my heart to break over the big and the small moments. Loss, loneliness, a quiet sunrise, and the budding of cherry blossoms outside my window after a long winter. I want the soil to catch my tears and turn them to wildflowers and the kind of waterfalls that are hiked 10 miles toward to be wondered at with awe and doughy eyes.
I want to get married at an age when I feel truly ready, to the kindest man I have ever met with bare feet under a blue sky and canopy of yellow leaves as the air crisps and the smells of fall fill loved one’s lungs. I want to grow old on a piece of land where the cows and horses are my friends and our rooster our daughter named wakes us up at sunrise. I want to raise my children under the sun, and I want to dance with my partner under moonlight and stars while we drink wine from the bottle, and when we laugh too loudly, the children will wake, and we’ll giggle and say sorry kiddos, this is what it means to be alive, as we walk back inside to tuck them in.
I want the full experience of life. All of it.
I want to take life’s hand and make every waking breath a dance to the song of laughter around a dinner table and wind through trees and birds chirping and stories told by a fireplace and cries that remind us it’s okay to feel our pain and the voice of Spirit or God or whoever the hell you do or don’t believe in whispering to me—this is your life.