{DangerDoes} Octobers

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” – Lucy Maud Montgomery 

L.M. Montgomery said many wonderful things through her character Anne Shirley, but this one has been a sentiment I have felt throughout my life. I love Octobers. I know it might seem strange to write about just one month of the year but something about the crisp autumnal season & the reminiscing of what October means to me is just what I need right now.

I love Octobers for many reasons & one would be Anne, the one from Green Gables. Her author, I would say, was the one who first inspired my admiration. I love it too because of the memories of watching the VHS box set of Anne of Green Gables movies with my grandparents as a young girl. In some respects it is also just the way that Octobers just seem to embrace me when they come around. I guess most see the loss of beach vacations & lazy days, but the busyness & coolness of fall put me in my element. You see, what is more grand than green leaves turning all different hues & gently falling down to the earth? What’s better than a cool morning drinking tea? What’s more beloved than memories of family & youth? What’s more splendid than the end of hot weather and the beginning of a new season? Maybe it is not just fall, but the ideas of fall that I love. Maybe it is just that I have a lot of memories stored up in the autumn time.

You have probably noticed, but fall ushers in a lot of death. The death of warm summer nights, the death of most leaves & foliage that are not evergreen. Fall is also a season that I can relate to. It almost helps explain things for me sometimes. The idea that there is a place for death in life. That there is life in death & the end of something is not always permanent or bad. That no matter what I can know with certainty that from this autumn season, though it is taking something, it will give back & bloom again in another season. Octobers remind me that even when it looks hopeless & gray that it is not. Something better is coming with the cold & the rain & there will again be good things, but I must wait.

Octobers not only remind me of things like that, but Octobers point out to us in bold & bright ways that there is beauty in newness. There is a beautiful mystery & wonder in chlorophyll disappearing from leaves. Where I live, the mountains explode into color & the changing leaves become a huge attraction to tourists. People flock to the mountains just to take in the astounding metamorphosis & death of leaves. Just a simple change in color brings many out to just bask in the passage of fall to winter. Isn’t that magnificent? That even though we have so many outlets of entertainment, even though we have so much yelling at us trying to grab our attention…that all it takes is leaves. All it takes is nature at work & even if just for a season, the leaves are appreciated beyond normal as their green hues give way to yellows, oranges, & reds.

It is really quite strange that we find such beauty in the passing of leaves, appreciating their waning days, & how in the spring we marvel at new life & blooms. But come the greenness of spring & the days of summer, our obsession with the leaves withers away ’til the next fall. Octobers seem to give us new eyes. Oh, to have new eyes about the seasons & moments of life that seem like death. Octobers tell us many things, like that it is okay to change. Natural to change. That death of parts of you give way for new blooms.

Aren’t we blessed to live in a world where Octobers exist?

–{DD}

{DangerDoes} Don’t Tell Me I’m Pretty

Don’t tell me I’m pretty

Don’t compare my face with the others that you have seen

Tell me I’m otherworldly and ethereal and beyond comprehension 

Tell me that what I think matters and that what I say has merit

Listen

Ask me what my opinion is on the book you just read or why I think Pluto should still be a planet 

Tell me a story that nobody else knows

Let me inside the vault of your mind and your heart that you keep closed

Tell me that the way I use words heals the hurts that run miles deep

Tell me my heart is full of compassion

Tell me that I matter and am brave even when I feel ready to sink

Tell me that my emotions are what make me strong

Tell me the truth when it’s hard, when I’m cruel and shouting and falling apart and blaming you for things that aren’t your fault

Tell me that I’m the one that makes you want to stay at home when the whole world is calling your name 

Don’t call me pretty,

tell me I’m enough and complete without you

but that you’d like to walk with me wherever I’m headed.

Two whole people,

who say so many things but don’t tell each other that they are pretty.

 

{DangerDoes} 4 letters, many words

It is going to get coffee and bringing back two
it’s words, it’s feeling, it’s comfortable silence, it’s loud laughter at midnight
It is commitment for the better, the sick, the haves and the nots.

It’s not just words spoken or things written on paper or empty promises forgotten on the back shelves of our minds
It’s a vow with a purpose, a goal with the end, to better not just yourself but each other in the world that we’re in
Working together, making more problems than solutions not a movie ending with the sunset in the distance.

It’s the keeping of promises, honor, respect, honest, and pure.

It is taking what you could give in pieces to many and refusing to break it up.

More and more, those four letters are strung together and thrown around like confetti. Noticing the mess it makes because it’s beautiful but a pain to pick up yet we keep throwing because it’s a celebration, even after heartbreak we find healing.

Scared of hurt and unsure of ourselves,
sometimes it’s a flower we refuse to pick and just leave growing.

It’s the way we wonder if we’re insane.

It’s the way it hurts to give on hard days. When you don’t want to but the commitment is made
It’s muddy and unclear and an uphill hike both ways, yet we treat it like the resolution to our problems, a magical elixir, a fairytale ending.

But it’s a beginning. The sunset brings a sunrise. The romance brings reality.

If one thing holds clarity it’s this to me that it is a problem maker, a multiplier of frustration and a battle to fight for.
It’s not our solution, it won’t heal our hearts.

All I can say about it is that

well,

l-o-v-e,

Love is a start.

 

{DangerDoes} Dear me, from me

Dear me,

read this, I hope you listen on repeat
to me,
from me,
hear me speak
please be wild and free
don’t say nothing, for to not speak is to speak
stand for what is right, look those things in the face
do not fear death
meet it with fire and grace
grasp that precious life
trust through the doubt, have faith to thrive through uncertainty
cry and grieve when you and others are hurting
mourn
be love and be loved and be okay with letting go when love isn’t the answer
press on
be called
let intentionality drown you and bring you back to life again
Let holy moments convince you of the places where the veil between runs thin
see all of the glory in them, see all the glory within
live fearlessly in His close embrace
live out that grace

from me

signed,

me

-{DD}

{DangerDoes} Blue & the future

I like to dye my hair. It’s been black, purple, blonde, green, & most recently blue. Now you can imagine the reaction that I get to these vast changes in hair color. I mean, abnormally colored hair is usually judged immediately, since it’s a very obvious physical attribute. Everyone sees your hair. Some judge it well & others aren’t a fan. I mean usually people are polite or critical in a polite way, depending on tone, “Oh, wow, you’re hair is blue. How nice.” can mean so many things. But most people I know usually support me in my hair escapades. & of course, I have blue hair, so I don’t necessarily care very much about the opinions thrown at me but I do always appreciate the support when it’s found. People can be the greatest & the worst (a good topic for another day.)

But, to steer the conversation back, I feel like for me, it’s not really about what others think. There will almost always be spectators to the 6 foot tall girl with blue hair. But what scares me is the future. Oh! I get it now…that’s why the title is “Blue & the future.” Foreshadowing. Gosh–Ok, on track again– But see it makes sense…One day, in the near future, I will probably have normal hair that is a natural color. & as petty & unimportant as it sounds, when that day comes I’ll be sad. I don’t look forward to the day when I’m considered a professional. When I’m considered “too old” for “fun hair.” Now, I’m not saying that you can’t rock a sassy hairdo of any color as a professional or as a older person, I just mean for me, in pursuit of some sort of career in Law, it’s probably not going to be an option. I mean, I’ll do my best to be a blue-haired lawyer, but I don’t know how that will work out for me. I will let you know as soon as I figure it out. I’ll get back to you in a few years. But blue hair has taught me that some things are meant for seasons, & that after a while all things dye–er, I mean die.

If you, like me, tend to overthink the little things, like what your hair color will be in the future, then maybe you need this reminder just like I did. Life is meant for new things. New colors. Blue hair. But if I had blue hair forever, it might lose it’s charm. That new normal might become boring. As new & exciting as blue hair is now, maybe future me will look back & laugh at me at 21. But knowing myself, I’ll probably have my awesome professional hair & look back at photos & think about how exciting it was to go out on a whim & buy the wondrously named “Electric Teal” hair die. I’ll remember going home to put it on only to end up going to see the Tarzan movie with my dad. I’ll remember him talking too loudly in the theater during the movie, saying something funny or pointing out a plot error with the books & how I wasn’t embarrassed anymore when he decided to have loud mid-movie conversations with me cause who the heck cares anyways. I’ll remember driving back home & taking our new family dog, Amelia, out to the yard with my dad & laughing at the way she’s not good at fetch yet. I’ll remember cracking the hair dye seal at 11 p.m. & not finishing the dye job ’til 2 in the morning. Blue-haired, blue-handed, & ready to sleep. I’ll remember the days I haven’t lived yet, but I’ll look back to this season of life, to the love I feel for so many, to the songs I liked, the movies I loved, the people I share life with near & far, & I guarantee that somewhat normal colored hair me will say, “I’m glad for the blue hair days. Here’s to the *insert color here* hair days to come.”

 

Life will most definitely be just as exciting in the future, even without the blue hair. I guess blue hair really isn’t the issue. It’s just been the catalyst to teach me that this time in my life won’t necessarily be the place I need to be in in the future & I’m grateful. Things will change, thank God for the promise of newness & the mystery of what life has yet to bring me. I’ll miss blue hair & be sad the day it changes, but life will continue to move on & new things will gain importance & significance to me. I’ll live my edgy blue haired days now, enjoying the things I’m experiencing with it now, learning who I am & doing the most with this one wild & precious life*. I can now look forward, with the lessons life is teaching me now, to the day my hair will be “normal”, without regrets or fear. For whatever color my hair is then, I bet that in the future–life, work, friends, family, love, Jesus, & all the joys along with the sorrows that will be experienced now will be felt just as deeply & beautifully as I experienced them in the blue hair era of my life.

Here’s to all the hair eras I’ve had & have yet to experience–no matter the color–it’s good to learn that things in their season & in their time are meaning full & that there is joy in the beginning, ending, & even in the unknown.

Live like your hair is blue, whatever that means.

-{DD}

 

*Mary Oliver, “The Summer Day”