Slow Burn

Slow Burn

Slow Burn the etchings people leave on our hearts

Sometimes people enter our lives in a slow burn: they creep in over time, building heat, bubbling at the surface until searing deep into our souls. We carry them everywhere, a permanent scar, both haunting and comforting.

Others come into our lives in a flash: blinding, all encompassing, impossible to pinpoint exactly how they arrived and equally as hard to imagine how we ever existed without them.

Sometimes, though, people disappear even more quickly than they arrive. A blink of an eye. A fleeting moment, making us wonder if it was only a dream… We wake from fitful sleep, wisps of memories swirling away, labored breath and salty cheeks, wondering if they were ever really there at all.

Slow burn the etchings people leave on our hearts empty bench ashley allyn the messy badass

Often, when people vanish from our lives, they leave nothing behind. No etchings on the heart, no lasting impressions. The memories fade away, much like the foggy moisture on a window pane. Slowly at first, dissipating around the edges, becoming transparent… then gone altogether. We stare upon the smoothness, catching nothing but the occasional glimpse of our own reflections and the clear landscape beyond.

Yet others leave tracks. Droplets of condensation, or perhaps, a playful design traced with loving fingertips. The lines only detected in a particular glint of light, at that perfect angle with the sunshine just so, or with a puff of warm breath against glass on a brisk and biting winter day.

The reminder comes up unexpectedly, brings a smile, thaws through the harsh cold that settles within our bones. When days are bleak, wrought with insecurity, cloaked in doubt, these memories have the power to save us. These memories have the power to make us feel whole again; to remind us of simple pleasures; to bind us back to the thing we too often take for granted – the joy of just being. Being alive.

I believe everyone serves a purpose. They are put in our lives for a particular reason, at a particular time. Often no sense can be made of these visits, other than just knowing our lives are better for them. The complicated recesses and crevices of our hearts are neither logical nor rational. The feeling cannot be measured, or qualified, quantified, or justified. It just is.

I am grateful for these people. Rare and wonderful, they leave a piece of themselves when they depart. It can be as simple as a look, a hope, a laugh, a whisper in the dark, a tender brush of skin, a flush of desire, or as complex as a fire burning where it had since been extinguished.

– Ashley

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