Things I would like to do this White Winter without You.

Via on Oct 16, 2013

maple syrup global warming climate change pancakes breakfast vermont


There is a pleasure in the pathless woods; There is a rapture on the lonely shore; There is society where none intrudes, By the deep sea, and the music in its roar: I love not man the less, but Nature more… ~ Lord Byron


This is the eleventh.

Read the first, Things I would like to do with you in the Woods.

Read the second, Things I would like to do with you this Evening.

Read the third, Things I would like to Remember about our day in Vermont.

Read the fourth, Things I would like to do with you in Time.

Read the fifth, Things I Would Like to do with You Before I Lose You.

Read the sixth, Things I would like to hear when you are Confused.

Read the seventh, Things I would like to say to you without you Knowing.

Read the eighth, Things I would like to do with you when you visit my Home.

Read the ninth, Things I would like for us to know before we Fall in Love.

Read the tenth, Things I would have Liked to Say to You the Last Time we ever Spoke.

In the wake of your vanishing from my country a season has taken hold, and another will soon take its place. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve.

I would not like to miss you, when I think of you. But I would like to feel sad, and bitter, and that angst shall warm my hollow heart as this season grows colder.

For now I am cold inside: not so cold that beautiful ice with patterns in it has begun to form around the edges, not Winter’s cold, not yet. Just wet, damp, the kind of Fall cold that sneaks up on you and chills and I would like a second blanket, and a sweater, and tea. But it is the morning. And so after showering, I wrap a towel and I dry in the hot sun on my balcony where, every day, I can see the mountains a little more, again, the leaves are all falling, separating, drying, beautiful.

And though the sun is warm, nearly hot…my skin and hair is wet and it’s cold enough that soon I’m cold. I read a hot-tub-wrinkled business book while I sun dry. My half-hound moves from sunny patch to shade and back again.

That’s how I am with you, now.

You are gone, I have lost you,

I have lost you too,

I never had you,

I had you,

love had me,

you are lost to me,

safe in your City,

safe on your road,

safe in your travels,

safe on the other end of your phone number,

…and now I would like to go to a cabin alone up on a hill above a stream and become old quickly.

I shall grow a red beard, it has already started, and my red sideburns shall curl as they do. I shall wear a warm hat over my messy hair. And when I bicycle back down to the twinkling town this white Winter I shall go to bars alone and laugh too thickly and convince random friends of my joy. This is more fun than thinking of you. I would like to have fun all the more, and then let it go, like an emptied glass against another winter night. This is the time when happier men drown in drink, but I like to sip good scotch, and in the morning hot rich Americanos, both are the color of fire or polished wood and both taste like an affair—a brief moment of dreams and love and yes this is all you have been to me, a moment of truth and caring and a moment when my life opened up and my heart felt something and then, gone as the scotch or coffee slide down into my damp heart.

And I do not mind sadness too much, so I do not run from the wound beneath my jacket and beneath my sweater and beneath my striped dress shirt and I can feel the warm blood, I am shot through. Not by you, not directly< i can not blame you, you owe nothing to me, and yet have given so much that I have appreciated.

I would like to have worn armor, but I did not: it slows me down, too much. You would have liked it if I had worn armor, so you could play with my heart longer before it deflated, a foolish balloon killed by a callous, careless cold flower. Instead I wore a robe, and instead I tied on two swords (one of them a pen) and for a time I dazzled you with my heart, dazzled by the reflection of you in the late summer mountain stream. But people do not want heart: people want to read about heart, and go home with steel.


“…they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald


And now my heart has not died, but it has gone cold, perhaps it will reawaken next Spring or the Spring after that. In any case I live on, and, and it is Winter that is coming soon.

I would like to wear the armor of my Colorado and Vermont clans against this Winter: I like thick wool redwarm shirts. I would like to find this old shirt and buy it secondhand, or buy it new now in a small shop where it was delivered from an old warehouse in an old town in old America where it was made in the old ways. And I would like wear a cardigan with a collar to keep my neck warm, I would like to wear an old tweed dress coat over it, I would like to wear thick dark jeans every day, and buck-colored wingtips, and drink tea out of a big glass jar that has no top no more.

And I will go to Burlington and my mother will visit here and I will go to Portland and I will go to New York City, and Paris, but I will never go to San Francisco, ever, until I do.

And when it is warm next Spring I would like to invite my beautiful friends to take their clothes off, but keep some on, and we’ll spend all day at the swimming hole. But Spring is so far away. And so for now we’ll choose our favorite pumpkin and bicycle down hills and layer up and layer down and we are all so busy, there’s no room for love, but it happens anyways when you sit in a cafe and look at the lengthening shadows against the sunny wall across the street. And we’ll find a bar that serves food and has wifi and we’ll work there, nights, and bike home through the snow.

I would like to love you, but I never found your rock bottom. You never let me.

You slowed me down and pushed me away and then I was sad but I got it

and then you called to me and I understood

and then you pushed me away and called to me and I agreed, yes, space,

and then you slowed me down and came to me and I got it

and then you pushed me away again, the fifth time, and I was hurt, tired, bored, insulted, and you did not like that, and then you cut it off like the wind against an Autumn tree and the leaf fell, beautiful.

And I was too tired, walking across the bridge, that night—my back muscles had spasmed in the flood, I was sick for a month, I was sleepy with good hot tea and in those moments I lost you. You were already lost to me, you showed me a view through a window that was never opened. And I showed you my home, and you talked with my dog, and that was it and then you left and our lives went this way and that way, no longer entwined. And I would like to remember that your hair and eyes and other things and most of all your command, your intelligence are such that I could see you running a household, and it was our only evening.

But I kept my horses reined in, and they do not mind, for they are young and tall and know my spirit, and some day I shall release them.

And I would like to be a father to trouble-making, powerful children, and I would like to be a husband to a mother and a lover. And first I would like to date, and first I would like to travel the world! a red line like that tracing the adventures of Indiana Jones, but I have explained all this, and the words are without object, now, so my heart has only itself left to feel affection for.

And the small town with the two streets and the proud high tall old houses and the beautiful river and woods: I shall come back to Vermont, and leave these people behind.

And I would like to remember that you look just as good with your girlfriends and boyfriends at a house party as you do when dressed for a conference, in New York, in black heels six inches high.

You mined my depths, and you found space five fathoms deep, but you kept mining, and you hit bedrock, and you wanted oil, not bedrock.

The beauty of autumn is that things in their dying change, and change reminds us that life is short, and to appreciate its passing. And, Just like that, a budding leaf and green rich beauty of summer and now yellow fall has sent you, and me, us, and our budded, blossoming love—bright, brilliant—off and away on a random breeze, and now my story is fallen, and my words and love is shown for what they are: powerless.

Any breeze can take it all away from any one of us.

And so I return to my work. And I tell my friends no, I’ll bicycle the roads alone. I’ll suit up and get coffee for-here in a small thick off-white porcelain cup and drink the shot and ride, off, long, and in a week or two my beard will have come in and I will be bitter, and cold, and I will begin dating again, a way of life that is fun, entertaining, a sport. But I miss it, the possibility of being interested in the woman on the other end of our conversation. I will miss your cascading hair and eyes and shyness and beauty and your stripes and your promise: that, perhaps, I could find a friend to love and want me.

Me. Take all of me. That word encompasses my heart, my past childhood, my future dreams, my ups, my downs, my victories, my accidents, my lost things, my forgotten adventures: and together she who remains unknown shall enjoy many small times where friendship gilds daily life in light.

@waylonlewis instagram quote elephant journal

Innisfree Cafe & Poetry Bookshop on the University Hill in Boulder, Colorado. “And this is why we write love letters.” ~ @waylonlewis on Instagram.

About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | | | | | Google+ For more: publisherelephantjournalcom


If you liked this, you might like these:

17 Responses to “Things I would like to do this White Winter without You.”

  1. Shawna says:

    Come and find me? ;) Beautiful.. every one of them.

  2. Shawna says:

    Come and find me? ;) Beautiful.. all of them.

  3. Steph says:

    Namaste, Waylon. I'm not sure how you could make this any better. But maybe that is only because I can relate to the bittersweet sorrow in your words as I was recently rejected by somebody that I cared about as well. I love your metaphor about the armor; so many times over the past few weeks I have tried to console myself with the thought that, at least I was true to myself and did not drag out something that was not meant to be by hiding who I am. Thankfully, pain is just as impermanent as pleasure so this too shall pass…

  4. kimberlylowriter says:


  5. laurtalbot says:

    thank you, for all of your vulnerability, and for your beautifully spun words…

  6. Janey says:

    Whom ever this person is,that has left you so wounded, has given you a gif!! From something bad …good will come. Your writting about your feelings has touched many lives, on many levels. I know they have touched mine and for that I Thank you.

  7. csrisss says:

    Well Mr. Lewis, this one made me cry. Loss I understand. Grief is wiley. Just when you think things may be alright something drags you back down, muddying things.
    Beautifully wrought. My favorite thing in your series is that you come back again and again to stating your virtues. It is kind of miraculous and a very wise lesson.
    I think this may be the last one I read for awhile. Know that I, and I suspect most of your readers, hold for you the same thing they hold for themselves, the need for space and time and to ultimately find what we seek. I hope that you do. And, red beards are good! And, I figured out how to comment from this flippin’ phone.
    Wow, I can’t stop crying…very effective writing.

    • fluxustulip says:

      I amuse myself…I figured out how to comment from my phone but not typing so much?! OH well…I forgot to say "great way to say nope to the trope"…rhyming sentences shouldn't be wasted.

  8. elephantjournal says:

    Megan E I wish these were available as a short story- parts 1-11 So so well written and amazing

    Elephant Journal Stay tuned….

    Chele H So, can I print each one and put them in a binder for my daughters to read later on? Besides being excellently written, they provide an insight into what type of man I wish for them.

    Angie H The "Things…" anthology is so lovely that I can barely stand it. Thank you for sharing.

    Andrea R But I kept my horses reined in, and they do not mind, for they are young and tall and know my spirit, and some day I shall release them.
    …But people do not want heart: people want to read about heart, and go home with steel.

    Stephanie D Not sure how you can improve that. It is so heartfelt and authentic! I wouldn't have you change a thing. But then I am a reader not a writer. Having been through a same but different experience myself recently, I have found all of this series cathartic; thank you so much.

    Jheremy S Um yes. And Vermont is the perfect place for this time. The land there lets the soul drip a bit more.

  9. lynnola says:

    So lovely and visceral. If you go to Vermont, you should stop in Maine.

  10. andeejo says:

    oh! i'm sorry you're sad… the happy nextchapter may be with someone else… but it's true that cracks are how the light gets in… and out… all us seekers know this after so much time… so… it will be fun to hear your next chapter :) xo

  11. Victoria Taylor says:

    You’re breaking my heart! Thank you.

  12. Your writing is beautiful, Waylon!

  13. dinah says:

    Thank you. I needed that, right here, right now.

  14. Elien says:

    Feels like everything I’m going through this winter is being said by you. This has touched the very core of my soul! Tears and smiles and aches.Plus my favourite line from the Great Gatsby. They were careless people, Tom and Daisy…

  15. Elien says:

    Oh and you talking about Paris, San Francisco and NY has sent shivers down my spine…met this love in Paris, fell into it in San Francisco and first realised loss to come in NY…

Leave a Reply