on a snowy evening

'The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep.'
-Robert Frost


the cove

 There are a handful of must-do's whenever my sister, Alysa, comes to stay: we visit the current art exhibits, labor over new recipes, go to the movies, eat at a quirky hole-in-the-wall restaurant and, most importantly, make a trip to the cove.

The cove means salty air, crashing waves, towering cliffs and a rugged shoreline where the ocean kisses the rocks. The cliff faces stand tall, braced for the grey waters that never cease to slap and spray. I feel closest to infinity whenever I'm watching the relentless sea at the cove.

Alysa nibbled on gingersnaps in her throne of passenger seats as Dad drove us past rotting farm fences and horses out at pasture, their furry backsides swaddled in blankets against the mist, until we reached the cove. We stood, dark silhouettes against the horizon, while baby waves hugged the tips of our boots. We searched for our reflections in tidal pools but could only see the fragmented sky. On the deserted beach, we heard our laughter amplified by the surrounding rocks and it only made us laugh harder.

The things I love best about Alysa count to a million and then some. She lights up both my smile and every moment we spend together. My favorite time with her will always be at the cove, with our tread leaving imprints on the sand and the shore finding a way into our hearts.



light on my shoulders

Sometimes, it is best to let go of burdens simply because they are heavy. I've been carrying my burden for a long journey, and now I think I'm ready to begin unloading it.

It seems I've forgotten how rewarding it can be to float freely and carelessly. I'm a tad rusty at the whole allowing-myself-to-be-happy philosophy. On nights like these, when my voice goes hoarse from whooping and my stomach tightens from laughter, I have to keep on remembering, let go. Even if it's just for tonight, let go.

To release my burden for even a few hours is to joke, smile and sing more easily. To feel deliciously light upon my shoulders. To rise above my heart's heavy load is to live enlightened, to squeeze the drops out of the new year, my fresh slate. Perhaps I cannot abandon my troubles for long, but when I do, it feels wonderful to let go.