adventure · love · Spiritual

Lullaby by the Sea.

“Sky above me. Earth below me. Fire within me.”

In the twilight we drink tea, hold hands and watch, enchanted, as nature’s fireworks dance across the horizon.

Electrical storms spiral like screaming tornados into the waiting ocean, and the sky blazes violet-white behind shifting storm clouds.

We look up in wonder at a precious glimpse of heaven, gone much too soon.

We cook on an open flame, which trembles gently in the fresh ocean breeze. The smell of fire awakens something in me. Every bite tastes exquisite, our appetites heartened by sea salt and freedom.

Our laughter carries through the dusk, startling the small silhouettes that hide and seek; white tails flashing in long grass.

The rain creeps closer still, heralding the time to cozy up under woolen blankets. There is nowhere else on earth I would rather be right now, and no one else I’d choose to share this moment with.

It’s you. It’s always been you.

The lantern swings lazily from the canvas roof, a soft moon illuminating our tent with its celestial glow. We lay side by side, limbs gently tangled as we talk and smile and love.

We are content, listening to the sea boom against the empty shore,—natures lullaby, soothing us to sleep in her arms.

This is where I return, when I am weak, when I am sad. This is where I bring my fears, my anger, my pain. When life invades my head, and sleep evades me, you will find me here at the water’s edge.

I am stronger here, drawing my power from nature’s magic and making it my own. I am vibrant here, more alive.

I know who I am here, and where I am going.

Sleep comes easily in this place, and dreams follow.


Author: JoJo Rowden

Editor: Toby Israel

Photo: Author’s Own


Originally published on Elephant Journal here.

grief · love

Let Me Shelter You.

I know you. At least, I did once.

You are struggling and I can sense it, even now. Even after all this time.

You still have a piece of my soul, entwined deeply with yours and it feels you when you writhe and moan in troubled sleep. You may not realise that you call my name as your haunted dreams provoke you. But you do.

You hide it well enough. Those who have not loved you would never know that you were hurting. But I have. I do. I hear your silence echo like the tolling of a death knell. Still water runs deep, and your depths are turbulent as you fight to find your place in this world.

You cannot hide your pain from me. And, I do not want you to. 

I can see through your happy messages and the smile that doesn’t quite reach your eyes. I know what your real smile feels like, sounds like, tastes like. I have been the cause of it more than once. I have made that sun rise high across darkened contours, a glittering enchantment, contagious to all who gaze upon it. I have been that smile. And though your darling lips try to put on a brave front, they remain a curved imposter, disguised as truth.

I understand why you try to hold me away, just outside of your reach. I feel the same vulnerability with you. I know that you clutch that rock face firmly; that you have climbed a long way from the valley of my love. You do not want to slip, to tumble head over heels again. You do not want to hurt anymore.

I wish I could show you that denying love doesn’t work, cannot work. If it exists, you will feel it, regardless. You may try to lock it away in a tightly sealed box, but it’s there, seeping gradually through the cracks. Let it go free. The world is dark enough and love is the only real light that we have. The world cannot tell us what shape it should be. It just is.

I can shelter you, if you let me. I can hold for you, even now. I want to give you a safe place to rest that weary, beloved head. To calm your fears, the ways that I know how. I will stroke the curls that graze your neck and nestle you in arms that have ached for you to want them. I will envelop you and soothe you with each shared breath.

I feel the storm that prowls around your mind, rattling the windows, desperate to get in. It throws back its head and screams in fits of frustration that its icy tendrils cannot reach you whilst I keep you.

We grin at each other, delighting in the delicious sound of rain on glass and the wind whistling through bending trees. I love watching the individual rivulets as they race each other down the window, leaping off the ledge to freedom. Your freedom.

I know I cannot keep you always, but this sanctuary exists for you until the angry skies give way to peace once again. Let me comfort you, as you have done for me. I ask for no promises in return; you cannot give them and we do not need them.

Rest awhile and talk to me of magic. Talk to me of more than day to day banalities. Talk to me of dreams and horrors and the workings of your heart. Talk to me of truth, for life is short and we may never get another chance. Talk to me of life. Your life.

My invitation stands, for all of time. Your heart is always welcome where mine goes. Trust in me, bring me your fears.

I can shelter you…if you let me.


Author: JoJo Rowden

Editor: Renee Jahnke

Photo: LaToya Muse/flickr

Originally published on Elephant Journal here.