Before she decides

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As each challenge in life appears and is confronted, we find ourselves on the other side of it, having either lost or been victorious. Lessons learned, bridges burned, badges earned... We recalibrate, set our compass to a new bearing, and keep moving on to whatever is next. In life and love, I hope and believe that each time we face a challenge, regardless of outcome, if we pay attention and respect the lessons offered, we come out stronger and more in tune with what we need and deserve in the long run.

This is one of my absolute favourite poems, I got it from a gumball machine in Seattle almost 4 years ago.

They are in a dark plum thicket
and she is too far above the ground,
can feel the lift and fall of walking
but is not walking. Beneath her
are the shoulders of a boy
who is willing to carry her for years

but he is unsteady as a shirt
unbuttoned in the wind and she
is like a feather on the surface
of a river with round stones
in its bed. She already knows
he will fall and because she is above
him she will fall further

but that doesn't matter yet, the night
held up all around her
like great bolts of cloth for her choosing

"Before She Decides" by Kelly Madigan Erlandson from Lincoln, Nebraska (originally appeared in Anthology One, Alsop Review Press)

The author of this, Kelly, is a writer and a drug and alcohol counselor in the states. I didn't know that until a couple weeks ago, when after reading the poem many times (it's lived on my corkboard above my desk for years now) it occurred to me to google her name. On a bit of a whim, I sent her an email and she sent me a lovely reply and welcomed me to share the poem here with you all. I hope a few of you enjoy it even a fraction of how much I do.

As I told her, it both reminds me of that trip to Seattle (which ended up being very influential in my eventual move to working with Drupal, as the trip was to attend DrupalCamp Seattle, my first big Drupal event), and says so much about love, independence, suspending better judgment, and the way relationships feel before they start to fall apart.