Wind

a gentle breeze

morphs into a tempest

where trees once

danced and bowed before a

dormant power

they dig their roots in deeper

anchored—they sway drunk

on the wind’s power, unable

to stand upright

a lonely boat rests in the

harbour at the complete mercy

of a wild master. Wind

shows up when and how

it wants, breathing life

into old sails. Nothing was ever

conquered by sea without its permission

a multitude of stagnant days wait

for perfect conditions

Wind goes where and when

it wants, wild, ruthless and free. It kisses

the faces of lovers and uproots

the strongest trees

nothing is unknown, untouched

by wind’s eyeless gaze

it can freeze a thousand oceans or

ignite the fiercest blaze

Wind is love unsettled

it is love untamed, it’s a fiery

passionate lover and a gently

warm embrace. It’s frigid

and consuming, touching

everything in sight

it keeps the fires burning

between lovers

in the deepest darkest night

the earth’s breath kissing, moving

over the surface of the sea

the power of my love, the wind, at

the very core of me.

let me steer your ship

as I churn the seas

let me dance in the forest

among your greenery

let the leaves cry out in jubilation

at the thought of me

the brilliance of an arid power

found in their revelry

by breath will fan their desire

as wind caresses skin

I am taken in

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What I didn’t know was missing

Sitting, rather, laying on top of my patchwork quilt yesterday, I said, “Sometimes you don’t know what you’re missing until you have it.”

I’ve always been an independent person. I was the strong-willed child that knew what she wanted, the edgy teen who didn’t take flack from anyone, and the travelling idealist looking for a place to put roots down—in her own time.

Over the past few years, I’ve begun to do just that. I’ve met more amazing people since moving to Vancouver Island than I was prepared for. I’ve had the privilege of working with non-profits and social justice warriors to invest in the community and better the lives of lose less fortunate. I went back to school to pursue my passion, became established in the local writing community, started working full-time for the first time ever, and have a strong support network.

I was happily single. Free for adventures, late night talks, random road trips, and content with it.

Then, I was happily single and crushing hard on someone.

For all my bravery, moving to other countries with my clothes on my back, coming out as bisexual in a Christian church (subsequently losing what felt like everything), and coming back from nothing countless times—it was the single most terrifying experience to put myself out there.

I’ve had a history of barking up the wrong tree. People are beautiful. In my life, I’ve known some rare gems. They don’t see their potential, their impact on others, or their sheer brilliance. As an observer with my heart on my sleeve, I notice those individuals with the capacity for great love right away. I sat on it for a long while. I thought, this will pass and then I can carry on with my plans of graduating and work towards publishing.

Then, my good frenemy tequila intervened and I sent that notorious drunk text. Now, thank GOD drunk Cheryl isn’t an idiot. I didn’t say anything regrettable. It was literal liquid courage. I told her that I liked her.

What happened between now and then can only be explained as a miracle. Like, finally all the good karma I’ve sown is coming back to me. I didn’t know I needed to feel safe like I am with her. I didn’t know that I needed to feel beautiful even when my hair is standing straight up and I’ve got last night’s glitter and camping dust stuck to my face. I didn’t know that I needed someone to hold my hand while my heart broke for the pain of a loved one.

It’s funny how you don’t know what you’re missing until you have it.

Fan Friday: About Sex

I had a great conversation with a friend last night about the place for sex in a relationship. At the risk of ruffling some feathers, I’d like to take the time to address what I believe on this sensitive subject.

In a culture that is sex positive, and belonging to the LGBTQ culture which is dramatically sex positive, I come across as archaic and old-fashioned IMG_1658in my beliefs. I believe that sex was designed by God to take place
within a committed covenant that over the centuries has evolved into what we now recognize as marriage. I word it this way on purpose. Marriage wasn’t always a state recognized union, and is some places it still isn’t.

In North American culture, our covenant unions are surrounded by  ceremonies and paperwork. In other cultures, if you sleep together you’re married. One thing h
olds true along this spectrum, sex is sacred and our culture has lost that.

IMG_1386I’m not here to shame anyone, I can only speak from my experience and my convictions. I believe the Bible is true, which is why coming to terms with my sexuality as “other than
straight” and Christian doctrine was so hard—is so hard—in the first place. There are more verses about covenant, marriage and faithfulness in scripture than I can count. Marriage is so important to God and to the LGBTQ community.

What are we gaining by promising to be with someone we haven’t really treated any different from the last person we were with?

We gave the last person(s) our heart, our mind, our body…we probably thought we’d be with them longterm too (unless it was casual sex—which I’ll leave for another discussion). What makes sexual intimacy intimate is that it’s sacredness isn’t for everyone to enjoy. It’s a promise to be vulnerable and fully open to another person. If you wouldn’t trust someone with your life, your heart and your future, why would you trust them with the most tender parts of yourself?

Ultimately, if you’re a Christian, you need to figure out where your convictions are in light of the Bible. Do you believe it has authority or is it a nice book to you? No judgement. My sincerest heartfelt hope is that you learn what your convictions are and live a life of integrity. Don’t feel pressured to feign someone’s idea of holiness and don’t feel pressured to be sex positive simply because the people you identify with most are doing it. there’s glorious freedom in knowing who you are in Christ and living accordingly.

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Cheryl

Take Me to Church

This is the best poem I have ever written to date. I was afraid to share it with the world because of how “love” is personified here. After sharing it with a very godly friend of mine, I’ve gained the courage I desire to share it. She made an insightful comment–the woman is you–this is the way you see love. 

How do you see love? Bittersweet? Passionate? Consuming? Steadfast? Tidal?



“Admit it: you have spared her nothing, not even this.
Like little planets hanging there suspended like soft stars like
cattle kneeling in earth. Crows flutter in her veins; church bells
come again in wet speech.”
The Usual Past Tense …Is Hung
Emily Carr
Bittersweet is a generous love
all at once devoted and consuming
infatuation at its best
she becomes your whole world
every detail cemented in your heart
catalogue the joyful enraptured bliss
dote on her with all your riches
negate your own self care
all other people you dismiss
while you worship her
Admit it: you have spared her nothing, not even this.
Specks of copper on porcelain
intentional chaos of a master sculptor
highlight flaws that make perfection
you trace the dots forming the picture
her skin holding constellations
the rhythm of her heart begins to spike
careful attention at the cost of all else
you and she in limbo here
in all your differences alike
contained within her universe
Like little planets hanging there suspended like soft stars like
Time is not of importance
you lose yourself in her
and she lazily devours you
tasting the soft caverns of your heart
minutes turn to hours and days
you cannot think freely of her spells
mischief is her master
freedom is her burdened yoke
grazing through dormant impassioned belles
at her pleasure you are reduced to
cattle kneeling in earth. Crows flutter in her veins; church bells
Two are one and one are two
a tangled sleepy mess
she is the bond you cannot break
love rests here within forbidden fields
discipled by her captured affections
silent and still your bodies preach
to one another’s quiet fears
to pebbled paths of discontent
to consumption of each ripened peach
her pale blue eyes whisper in your ear

come again in wet speech.

Coming Home : Prequel to Hopeful Hearts An Original Work

Lynn’s Breakfast
She never expected to see him there. After all his world traveling, why would he show up in this tiny Sticksville of a place? Sure, the beauty of the mountains had a way of drawing people back, but he had achieved the kind of success small boys dream about playing guitar hero in their parent’s basements. She was just glad he came alone. 
“Good to see you Charlie!” Lynn heard the waitress say, ‘Are you and the boys planning on staying around long?” 
The boys? The band is here? What in Heaven’s name could they be here for? There was no one she could think of that she wanted to see less in the entire human race. Lynn glanced around to check if this was really happening. Sure enough, just as she raised her head from her pancakes, Jared plunked down in the booth across from her with that same old smug grin. 
‘Hey! Lynner!’ Jared, never one to pass up on a hot breakfast, grabbed an empty fork and stole a bite off Lynn’s plate, ‘You sort of owe me after stealing my cheerios in college every morning.’
Stunned, Lynn just watched as the man who left her to become a rock star sat there and ate her breakfast. Jared, the man who had stolen her heart when she was ten years old only to run off after his dreams and leave her in the dust. The man with the grin that makes you forget—Wait.  This had to be some weird kind of dream. Speak Lynnie, speak, what the heck is wrong with you!?
‘Jared, now, is that anyway to say hello? Get your own friggen pancakes, and while you’re at it, get some for Charlie too. I’d be willing to bet you boys drove all the way up from Los Angeles in one stretch and could use some food and a hot coffee.’ Lynn motioned to the waitress to bring over some more coffee while Jared went to get the guys.
The guys, or boys as they’ve been called since they were 12 years old, grew up together in the Robson Valley. The mountains, though grand enough to draw thousands of people every year, were not grand enough for these 4. Jared, Charlie, Tucker and Wade started a garage band shortly after they could talk about something more significant than fish bait. Sometime, in their last year of college, the boys were picked up by a talent scout and had been living on the road ever since.  These four boys were in almost every single one of Lynn’s memories, for a while, she was one of them, until everything changed.
Chapter One: Neighbours
*Slam* 
‘No, no , no , no Jared…..don’t get me…’ 
Lynn skidded out of the house, the screen door slamming on exit. Her dusty brown curls trailing behind her like a cape only added to the drama. She was fast, being taller and stronger than most kids her age, but after what she had just done, even her speed would not save her. This time, she was in for it. The punishment was more than worth the crime. 
For days, she had been planning how to pull the master prank on Jared. Early this morning, while everyone was still sleeping, she snuck in through his window. Lynn couldn’t believe it when Jared didn’t even so much as snore. She hid in Jared’s closet, tucked in beside the laundry hamper, thankful laundry day was yesterday for the Palmers, until he woke up and went to get dressed. Just when Lynn couldn’t stand it anymore, he reached in to grab a shirt and that’s when she pounced! Living next door to one another had its drawbacks, but sneaking into his room and hiding in the closet certainly wasn’t one of them!
Small towns have a way of protecting innocence. Here in McBride, the children play care free in the streets with out their parents worrying. McBride was the kind of town where no one locked the doors at night. Everyone knew everyone else. The crime rate in McBride had more to do with teenagers making bad driving choices than any sort of violence and theft.  Jared and Lynn’s parents went to school together, and now their kids did too. ‘Double best friends’ is what their parents called it. But to Jared and Lynn, it was like having another whole family to call your own. 
The houses were side by side on a grassy lot facing Bell Mountain. If you stood in the middle of their yard, not a direction you would turn would be void of a picturesque mountain scene. Places like this were becoming few and far between. McBride still had a slower pace of life; a pace that Lynn and Jared were oblivious to that morning.
‘I am going to get you Lynner, and when I do, you’ll be sorry!’ 
Jared shouted as he spotted her clambering over the old picket fence separating their yards. Jared laid a firm grasp on Lynn’s blue plaid shirt and yanked as hard as he could, but she didn’t budge. So, he did what any boy would do, and climbed the fence beside her. 
*Crack*
In less than the time it takes to blink, Lynn, Jared and the fence came tumbling down in a heap of dust and giggles. Mrs. Marsh was hanging the wash in the backyard when she heard the commotion. 
“Lynn, what in Heaven’s name are you…..LYNN! Are you alright?’
 Mrs. Marsh ran to her daughter, who was quite obviously fine, as she was nearly throwing up from laughter. 
“What are the two of you monkeys doing? It’s 7:30 in the morning! You should be getting ready for church, not destroying the neighbourhood. WHAT am I going to do with you girl? Get in the house and wash up, there’s some pancakes on the table, we will talk about this later.’
Lynn’s giggles subsided and horror overcame her freckled face. ‘Talk about this later’ is the last thing an 8 year old girl wants to hear her mother say, especially after a great prank like that. Pride broken, and shirt ripped, Lynn sulked into the house as her mother scolded Jared and sent him home. 
~~~~
Sitting in the pew with Mr. Palmer in between them was the worst. Jared wanted to show Lynn the huge bruise he got when the fence crashed, but his dad was pretty mad with him. Oh! I will write her a note! Jared grabbed the church bulletin and wrote 
‘Lynn, sorry you got in trouble. It was awesome when we flew off the fence. I have a bruise as big as a watermelon on my leg. See you later. Jared.’ 
Now, how to get this to her…As if on cue, the music started. When they stood up, Jared passed the note behind Mr. Palmer’s back to Lynn. Mission accomplished.
A few minutes later, something hit Jared’s face and fell to the floor. Looked like a paper airplane, but he knew better. Lynn had been sending him notes like this since before her printing made sense. 
‘Jare, it was worth it. The look on your face when I jumped out of your closet was perfect. It’s the best ever! You were so scared. Mom says I have to help tear down the rest of the fence tomorrow. Good thing it’s summer break. We have all day to do it. ❤ Lynnie’

 Love? Gross! Why did girls always have to sign stuff with stupid flowers and love hearts all the time? 
To read more, go too Amazon.com and look up Cheryl Folland or Coming Home. Purchase your own copy to find out what happens.