I believe in black pepper. In burning leaves inside my house: sage, mugwort, cedar. I believe in magic.
I believe in transformational moments, gateways, portals, hidden cupboards and secret gardens. I believe in layers upon layers of what is real.
I believe in my digging hands and in the ways I listen to animals. I believe walking barefoot makes me happier, or less sad.
Floodwaters will cleanse us all. I believe in water's edge. I believe in discovering forgotten language, driving all night to get there, pictures of people painted on cave walls, I believe in bats.
I believe in walking it off. Listening to other people's stories until I can think of a new way to tell my own. I believe in grapes after the first frost, whiskey straight up and slow.
I believe in kissing in restaurant booths and up against the wall and under a tree. I believe in trees. Moss and stones and dirt and mud. Avalanche earthquake tsunami hurricane tornado forestfire flashflood rabiddog.
I believe in black bears crossing invisible lines and coyotes trotting through the neighborhoods. Shooting stars, listing docks, baby birds learning to fly.
Owls falcons hawks eagles. I believe in fish as big as my arms spread out and also in the critters rushing my bloodstream that I will never see. I believe in amoeba and protons and dark matter and dust.
I believe in the things you say and I also know enough to believe the things you don't say.
I believe in rings inside a tree and heart-shaped rocks and falling asleep when I'm tired.
I believe in fucking until I can't breathe and then diving deeper until I can't see. I believe in coming back up for air and new prescription lenses.
I believe in atrophy and regeneration. Death, rebirth, liminal spaces.
I believe you when you say the thing and when the door closes on you at the airport.
I believe you when you say the thing and drive away, our dog in the front seat excited to go.
I believe you when you give birth to that baby, when you stand at the edge with me and point out the whales.
I believe in footprints in the snow and antler scrapings and the furtive burrowing of brown furry blind things.
I believe in bears reaching into holes to find honey. I believe in sticky paws and bumble bees and blue summer skies.
I believe in the northern lights and solar flares and that some planets have rings.
I believe in driving fast on country roads, singing along and windows left open.
I believe in rolling over to wake up alone, and I believe in listening to you snore. I believe in underwater caves and calderas and tectonic shifting.
I believe in holding hands and walking with my eyes closed.
I believe in parking on the side of the road to have the talk, to tell the secrets, to sit quietly with my hand on your knee.
I believe in watching you dance and rubbing oil into your knuckles and calling out your name 3000 miles away.
I believe in love letters and canceled stamps and whale songs and bird songs and the song you make up while you're washing the dishes.
I believe in spiced foods and salt and lemon zest and chili on my chocolate.
I believe in standing at the edge for as long as is necessary and I believe in falling, flying, and walking away.
Hot air balloons, orange pickup trucks, gravel roads, kudzu vines and trap doors.
I believe in sleep walking, sleep talking, and love.
I believe in saying yes, repeating stories until I get it right, propping the door open, letting moss grow over the path stones.
I believe in words spray painted on sidewalks, brand new birds' nests and lightning-split trees.
I believe in magic and miracles and fairies and elves and goblins and trolls and wizards and witches. Hobbits, Voldemort, centaurs, giants, bogeymen, shadows, light, and heartbreak.
I believe in what hasn't happened yet, and the color blue and lupines growing up the side of the hill. Gratitude, generosity and forgiveness.
(freewrite: list what you doubt, list what you believe: 14 minutes)
(freewrite: what women know about love: 14 minutes.)