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  • Writer's pictureBarrett Preston Busschau

18. Dec 2023 - February 2024

How are you?

Me? Well, it’s been a rough winter. Long story short: they didn’t close the windows in front of my cell properly. So, (cold/rainy) winter air hits me 24/7. It’s like cave man survival and the guys who could fix it don’t care.

Now, I’m a glass-half-full kind of guy so I’m also doing well: I’m still studying, fighting back chocolate, and smiling but I cannot tell you how miserable I’ve been. Those close to me can (you better believe I’ll be hitting up Yelp when I leave here).

Anyway, I’m not going to dress up the last few months. Instead, I’m sharing a letter I wrote to someone dear. It kept coming to mind as I thought about writing this blog.

Re-reading it helps me remember what I’ve been through and what I’ve learned - things that can help me now. If you’re busy going through it too, maybe you’ll remember something. On the other hand, if you’re busy rocking it, skip this.

Dear _________________,

I just heard about _____________ and my heart is bursting. I’m crying. But my heart is also with you.

I don’t know what it’s like to _______________, but I lost my family once so I know you’re not alone in this. I’m with you.

There’ve been times when all I could see was an empty sky of loss. I imagine I’ve been close to where you possibly are right now; I think I may have seen a similar sky.

One day, under that sky and lost from the world, I walked into the bush for hours. I met a man living all by himself in a makeshift crawl. He was weathered and mostly toothless - but he had this smile. I remember it clearly - it made no sense.

He must’ve seen inside me because he started talking real. He looked at my eyes (his were so full!) and said, “Storms will strike!” And, whether you like it or not, life will flood your soul. He said violent flows will sweep me off my feet. That’s when it’s best to be like a rag doll, he said, free to be thrown about. It’s time for that, he said. He said to let go.

But, also, he said, it doesn’t take long to feel yourself drown. He said I will feel myself drown. Over and over again, he said, I will welcome the sight. He said I will be lost in the night. He was right btw. He said that time will cover me. He said I will be there. He was right.

But, he said, whether I like it or not, slowly, the moon will begin to move, just a bit, bit by bit, eventually, it will wax and wane, just enough, and the tides will drain in time. He said I’d find myself on the floor. Broken, if not for that rag doll.

He said, whether I like it or not the sun will rest its heavy hand on me, warm, but I will burn. I will fight to dig my hole. But, he said, God made my hands and that isn’t what he made them for.

He told me that behind my closed eyes the light will be there, whether I like it or not. He said God made the light and in the end, if I allow it, it is the deepest digger.

Like a bud breaking open he said that I will too. He said I will leap to my feet many times throughout life’s season. He told me to remember how I’ve seen blossoms bloom.

I asked him why I should care when I don’t. He replied, “There’s nothing like God’s given chance to find my roots making new shoots in the ways I wished for those I love.”

He said that life will not grow like I think it will but the green is green and the landscape emerges from within us, beautiful, with pain.

He said there is forever and there is life and forever isn’t going anywhere.

He said my time to grow is not for me to know, but flowers will brighten my days and fade away, and their colors and scent will fill me, whether I like it or not.

That old man told me that day - that because of everything most days still - if he looks, he will see the sky’s depth. He asked me to see more than I was seeing.

Then he told me that there are people out there who love me. Right now, I want you to remember there are people out there who love you too. And I want you to know I’m one of them.

My love is a part of your sky and your love is a part of mine. We all see the skies together. We are together in pain and joy, surging to life’s incredible skies.

I love you and look forward to seeing you again one day to hug you and see in your eyes the fullness of life that you’ll see in mine. What a wonderful sight we will see together. I love you my friend, I am with you.


PS (Wanna warm my day? Just mail me or send my mom some pics. No explanations necessary - I just want to see your face. x)


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