Ashley Wilda

Author

Month: February 2017

The Treehouse Family

I want a treehouse home, with a treehouse family, up on little stilts above the rest of the world, hearts on balloon strings, getting all tangled up in each other and giggling about it. Our porch rests high above the rest of the world on and amid wispy cotton clouds, a wind banner furling multi-colored joy from the roof peak. The front door is pleasantly peeling pale pink, rustic and warm, leading into a square little haven to cradle us in honey-colored wooden floors, lush gypsy carpets, multicolored walls of neon and pastel, and mismatched flumpy pillow piles.

We are the rebels of the conventional world, hanging up faerie lights and cooking pancake dinners with cheap Aunt Jemima syrup. Guitar sounds echo off cozy bedroom corners and muffle themselves in the tie-dye bohemian tapestry. Our little grey wolf pounces and stretches with deft, soft paws, needling tiny claws on the striped couch, sashaying here and there, counter top to windowsill, a queen stalking dust motes dancing in sunshine shafts.

I want to live with a boy with thoughtful brown eyes and laugh lines–we’ll have lots of tickle wars and pushup game battles and impromptu naps with fuzzy blankets and stargazing conversations in the crow’s nest on the roof.

I want to live with a girl with green-hazel eyes and a deep gaze, with calloused hands and sure movements, with a wandering voice, quick fingers, a big warm heart, an artist’s mind, and a loyal soul.

I want to live with a boy with a hooked nose who smells like fresh laundry, who wears layers like the never ending scarves out of a magician’s hat, who loves world peace and has a penchant for pancakes, whose head turtle-bobs while playing guitar, and who makes funny faces and domino jokes.

I want to live with a girl with red hair, a cute nose, and a smattering of freckles, with a loud happy voice, bright eyes, a feisty wit, and caring arms that want to encircle the world.

I want to live with a boy with dark shaggy hair, a quirky smile, and unraveling mystery, with a wry sense of humor and an impressive disappearing act, with a sassy hip twist and an impressive determination to be the wolf’s favorite uncle, with mad frisbee bounce skills.

I want to live with a girl who I’ve come to discover only recently, familiar yet only just out of hiding, a girl with an uncontrollable laugh, a leaping growing mind, a supple body, and a wild loving heart–a girl that touches and hugs and writes and plays and praises and climbs and sings and loves and loves and loves and loves, boundlessly and more deeply every single day and hour and moment and breath. Someone beautiful. Someone sure. Someone belonging.

A treehouse family of six, hanging pictures on the walls, plunking out tunes, and frisbeeing in the nearby wildflower meadow. A treehouse family, climbing into the heights of each other’s minds and hearts, leaving the dark depths of sadness and loneliness and confusion and doubt behind, discovering new bright levels and windows and rooms, sweeping floors and cleaning out cobwebbed corners and spreading fir fragrance and golden candlelight. This treehouse family, living a treehouse life, in this treehouse home, which we built, and continue to build, together, strength flowing from hand to clasped hand, into and out of hearts, cool green silver and warm gold, strength pouring from our bones, plunging through our feet into the rough-hewn floor, making what was once inanimate and lonely a living place to call “mine.” Ours. On and on and on.

My treehouse family, in my treehouse home, in my treehouse heart. Here, nothing will die, everything will remain, to the clear blue horizon.

pic creds to Natalie Somerville and friends

Stay

The moment I have a good thing, I’m always terrified I’m going to lose it. The brighter the memory, the crazier the joy, the more golden the relationships, the more cataclysmic that fear is. I have always hated the way it encroaches on the bet of moments, trying to push its dark, stalking, heavy, fanged presence out of my life with both hands. And it’s dang hard.

Looking back on my life, I think this lurking joy thief haunts my steps so doggedly because many of my best and brightest joys–specifically people–tend to leave me. No one is ever as permanent as they feel. I have had to fight the lie that I am not enough. I just have always wished people would fight as hard for me as I’m willing to fight for them.

And now, they’re all terrified. The people who I have fallen in love with these past few weeks and who have become my family are as scared of losing their home in each other as I ever was. They don’t have control over that joy and safety as they would like. And it’s hard to trust in this new Spring love we’ve just found when so often people just don’t fight for us as they should. For me, this experience has been one of secondhand terror, the utter chaos in my head transplanted by osmosis, their roots of uncertainty travelling from their hearts into our joined hands and into my own center. I understand what it’s like to be left behind.

But for me, that bitter root finds itself unable to penetrate the hardy green-wood coating of life and hope and faithfulness these people have gifted me. The fear will not take root inside my heart, where I guard these strong fledgling bonds jealously. I will not let the cold reach them and kill their warm purple flowers, just having bloomed from tentative buds. Because for once, I HAVE A CHOICE. (how good does it feel to say it, I have a choice!! a choice a choice a choice, hear it ring!) Nothing is being taken from me. And I will not let it be so, will not deceive myself into thinking I am impotent when it comes to protecting the happiness and friendship of the people I love and love me. I finally get to fight for a ship that’s not sinking and with a crew that actually cares, if minorly despairing. The sun is merely behind a cloud, the wind is merely waiting for tomorrow.

Maybe people are just not used to others–even wonderful people–fighting not to leave them. I guess when it’s something you never do yourself, because you know it won’t work one-sided, you forget that it doesn’t mean it won’t work at all. I’ve never been able to stop trying–I have found myself incapable of being passive, and that means when I get hurt, I get hurt. But I can’t help it, and I’ve never truly regretted it about myself. I think it’s a better way to live, a fuller way to love.

But for the first time I can remember–I have a choice. It’s my turn to decide whether it’s more worth it to go or remain. I can go off into the unknown in pursuit of new adventures, or I can stay here with the known delights of people who actually care about me. I can go hunting for more amazing people to adventure with, not knowing if they’ll accept me, or keep on building deeper with a family that’s already wholeheartedly said yes to living life with me. I could go looking for more people to want me or hold fast to people who have already said they don’t want me to go. We’re not perfect. We are messy, broken, confused, hurt, sinful people, just like the rest of the world, downright human. But we know how to love. And who to love, and how to live with the certainty of being loved back. And that is an indescribably precious gift. That’s called community. That’s called friendship. That’s called family. That’s called home. That’s called love.

And in the end, I know it was never really a choice at all.

I will always choose to stay.

Luckiest

Some days I feel like the luckiest girl alive. Especially now. Man, if you told me I could be this happy going to school in the city I’ve always known, I would have thought you were crazy! If you had told me that I would become so gloriously, nonsensically happy, that I would never want to leave, and that I wouldn’t want anything to change, and that I wish I could just stay where I was just as I was with the people that were, forever… I would have thought you were insane. I didn’t know it was possible to have an experience like this. I didn’t know it was possible to fall so lightning fast and so hit-the-dirt hard as I have for these wonderful hippie, dorky, best-friends folk. I am overwhelmed, each and every day, by the love I feel for these people and the utter, wild happiness that just engulfs me like a breaker wave on such a bizarrely regular basis. I am so happy. Like jump and shout and scream for joy happy. Like I can’t even explain, or even understand, just feel my body and soul and heart and mind thrill and laugh and spin and just burst with the ecstasy of life. I cry I’m so happy sometimes. What a strange thing, to cry because you are happy! I think it is because our human bodies don’t know how to handle such an overflow of positive emotion–often only sadness is so all encompassing. So we cry as an utmost expression of joy in a world that we didn’t know could be so bright. WHAT FREAKIN’ JOY!!! Hallelujah–and I mean that–praise the Lord! He has given me what I never thought I could have, and the possibility for so much more, deeper, different love than I ever have experienced with a community of people and even with individual persons. The horizon stretches out wonderfully pale blue and blissfully empty and free, all around me, like I’m standing on the top of some tall rock spire. And sometimes it’s scary, knowing all the directions and places I could go and the ways I could get there and how easy it would be for me to mess up and fall and lose it all–but then I feel Jesus’s arms holding me steady, and my friends hands steadying my feet and shoulders, and someone’s warm grip in mine. I hear laughter and I smell cinnamon coconut pancakes and feel the reassuring warmth of family. I feel as far from alone as I’ve ever felt, and more of a certainty of permanence than I’ve ever had. And so I dream of flying, instead of falling, and of a flock to guide me home.

Tension Me

What is up with my head–can’t think straight–tension pooling in my bones and sinews. Yesterday I felt that thick plastic cable reattach between and underneath my shoulder blades, the center of my upper back hating the heavy connection. So many moments of my life, my week, my day, my moment–wild moments of flashing blinding light and sickly shadowed sludge. I am a person of extremes. I hate feeling dirty. Trapped.

Yet other times, especially recently when I’ve been with him, tickling, waiting, living for a smile or a sparkle, and her, laughing and teasing, talking deep and long, playing and listening. Spark catching warmth in my veins–peace, happiness, acceptance, care, understanding, loyalty. (Love even. Maybe. Definitely.) My world, my universe, centered in its rightful place by hands I barely knew just days ago. Revolving in a wonderfully unbalancing, solid-underfoot, spinning motion, my feet firmly planted, toes spread in the earth, but head and shoulders careening delightedly, dangerously, in a white atmosphere of ethereal cloud. My center, centrifugal force, making all else blur out with its motion. Stars, stars, stars, oh my stars. Three stars in Orion’s belt shouting for the joy of living. Being. Of warm, hearts-beating-in-chests bodies held close. Humming warm skin, soft, barely touching, connected in a family of alive. Thrill. Stability. Rolling out faster, bumbling, strong and lithe and untamed, energy, growing out of control, reaching for Orion’s shout. I hold his hand. I hold her hand. Her breath in my ear, his laugh on my cheek. All is spring. New green grass and gold dandelion fire, verdant honeysuckle nectar, lavender syrup, river water, starlight whiskey.

I know the dark clouds burgeon, swell, brumble. Swirling outside my sphere, I can see them. An invisible boundary, firm, transparent and stronger for it, holds them back. Waiting for me to voluntarily breach the membrane, a sacrifice to the world–or a warrior to sacrifice it?–to offer up my heart.

They hold my hands. I grip back tighter. Tendons living copper wires, cool starlight, juicy green of dandelion stems.

And I know–we won’t ever let me go.

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