When Brock and I were dating, we used to go on walks at night while listening to music on his iPod. One earbud for him, one for me. The cold winter air rattled the tree branches as puffs of our breath twisted and twirled in the wind. Brock was scared to tell me he loved me. We had only been dating for a few weeks and were so young. So he would play songs on his iPod with lyrics like the rhythm of my heart is beating like a drum, with the words "I love you" rolling off my tongue--a subtle and innocuous way of hinting at his feelings.

It's been almost five years since then. And last night, lying in bed, we listened to music together again as we fell asleep. One earbud for him, one for me. The song "There's Your Trouble" by the Dixie Chicks came on and threw me home to my backyard in Fort Collins, ten years ago. I distinctly remember being thirteen and whiling away summer evenings sitting in the sky chair under our deck, watching colors melt over the prairie. I placed the purple stereo I'd gotten for Christmas on the concrete patio and listened to the Dixie Chicks until it got dark outside. It was daydreaming time.
Who is the boy who'll love me? What's he doing right now? What will our first kiss be like? Will he give good hugs? I bet he'll give good hugs. And he'll tell me I'm beautiful all the time and be hopelessly, stupidly in love with me. And he'll squeeze my hand and kiss my forehead and tuck wisps of my hair behind my ear just like they do in the movies. And he'll smell good, too.
I'd walk around my backyard and imagine holding his hand. I'd lie on the cool grass, watching ships of clouds sail through the sky, and imagine him lying next to me. I was lost in the waves of a Colorado summer--of the wispy cirrus above, of the prairie grass undulating in the wind--and the only anchor I had to reality was the sound of the Dixie Chicks coming from that little purple stereo.

The boy I was dreaming of was lost in waves, too. Except he didn't watch them in the sky or on the prairie. His summer evenings were spent on a surfboard, waiting for one last swell to come in before the ocean swallowed daylight. Sometimes swells would come, sometimes not, but it didn't matter. A surfboard isn't just for surfing.

Years later, this boy told me how he once found a ladybug crawling on him as he waxed up his surfboard. (I love that he noticed that little ladybug.) He tried to shoo it away, but after paddling into the ocean, he realized it hadn't budged. It had found something good and wasn't moving.

Our summer nights of daydreaming apart turned into winter nights together, and now here we find ourselves in summer again. Dreaming again. Maybe in ten years I'll be thinking or doing something, and whatever it is will trigger a memory of last night, when I realized that those waves had become a memory, and those dreams reality.


  1. love this so much. it reminds me of my last year of high school. someone had talked about praying for their future spouse and I had kind of taken that to heart and decided to do the same. So every morning as I went off to my friends' house to catch a ride to early morning seminary, I would look up at the moon (yup, it was that early), and think of my future spouse and pray for him wherever he was. I thought of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (so cheesy, I know), 'don't swear on the moon; it isn't constant.' to me, it was constant; it was something that we would both see and it would be apart of our lives.
    anyway, I'm glad that I did pray for Greg, I believe at this time, his parents were getting divorced.

  2. I love when you do posts like this. I wish I had your skill with words!


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