April 6, 1996 – Saturday – 4:10 p.m.

It’s Easter weekend.  We have no classes on Monday, so everyone’s gone.  The dorm is empty.  Only the dripping water from a broken shower-head fills the lonely hallways.  A misty fog fills the air.  I can barely make out the evergreens through my window pane.

I am on duty.

I spent the day simply enjoying solitude.  I read some of The Oath.  An absolutely amazing book.  It’s too cold to work at the Humane Society for my community service hours.  I called my mom.  My summer plans are definite.

Earlier today I planned out my courses for the rest of the year, and it donned on me that it is April again.  Last year this time I was constantly calling and writing Emily.  We even spoke the words “I love you” to each other.  And we did.  We loved each other’s voice and words and soul.  But all good things must… well, you know.

Soon, this year will end.  This means I will be a Junior.  Charlie was a Junior when I met him.  Charlie graduates in a month.  He has been offered youth pastoring jobs in Kentucky and even on the coast of North Carolina and one down in Florida.  He and Dan and I talked about it last night.  We reflected on the past year, the guys on our hall, my problems with Jeni, and we even laughed about everything we experienced that was painful at the time.

And then, Dan opened up.  He told us how he cried on the last day of ski season.  He reached the bottom of the mountain, the snow was melting, the thing he loves most was disappearing.  He was alone.  No skiers around.  He sat on a bench and wept.  A whole summer and early fall would have to pass before he could fly over the powder again.

We talked about Charlie and Kate and love, and Dan wanted us to change the subject.  He can ski down the side of a cliff, but he’s afraid to talk about love.  As a young child, he saw a woman take his older brother away.  Does loving one subtract from the other?

I’ve been selfish.  I’ve forgotten the people around me actually have beating hearts.  They are alive.  I learned that under the endless Arizona sky.

And it all comes together.  It all makes sense.  I now know the secret to life:  every now and then, take a moment to lie on your favorite bed and look out the window.  Then dream about the lives that have touched you, and write them down so you will be forced to remember and never forget.

This, and prayer, and the giving away of all of my love, is how I survive.  It is the food that sustains me.

As I walked back from lunch today, a pebble got caught in my sandal.  It was carried a little ways, then it fell out and found itself in a place…

a new place,

totally different from where it began.


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