being good enough at nautilus teachings

do you remember your first
day of college?
i do, like it was yesterday.
i remember how small i felt
i remember being yanked
from my mothers protective arms
i remember standing on the sidewalk
in my walking shorts
knee high socks
ralph lauren polo shirt
with my monogrammed sweater
tied around my neck
preppy handbook in my purse
‘please, don’t leave me…’
i watched my parents
all soaked in tears
drive away
leaving me behind
and then
i was surrounded by
the welcoming team of
happy faces
asking me my name
where i was from
what i was majoring in
which room i was in…
they escorted me up
introduced me to my room mate
then told me,
“we will be by at 5 to pick you up.
wear comfortable clothes…”
sher’s college was small
and sat upon the shore
of Lake Michigan
in Kenosha, WI.
Carthage was private
co-ed, a faith based college
with a beautiful chapel
and comfortable dorms…
it was a busy little campus
filled with,
from what she could see
love, excitement, happiness
they were all
without parents
out from under
their thumbs
not being told
everyday what to do
and not to do…

for the first time
she took a deep breath
put on her shorty red shorts
and teeny tiny white shirt
(her first purchase from the college store)
with scrunchy white socks
and red and white tennies
setting off down the hall
waiting to be picked up
by the welcome committee.
all the girls on the floor
were freshmen
all were buzzing with
and excitement
standing nervously
in the gathering room…
soon boys and girls
all upperclassmen,
burst through the door
telling them
to follow…
like little ducks in a row
they all did exactly as told
and for once,
sher did not mind
following every direction given!
they walked to the gymnasium
were broken up into groups
made huge circles
given a partner
and told
to play the trust game-
you know the one,
where you fall into a persons arms
backwards without even thinking
‘am i safe’
her partner was
of course
a cute as beans boy,
(mr. blue eyes was being forgotten!
at least for this moment!!!)
several other games followed
with the last event being
a barbecue…
they were seated by floor
at huge tables
kegs were tapped
music was loud
faces all smiling
as one by one
they met their floor mates…
afterward a bit of dancing
led to a walk around the campus
at night
with a last stop for ice-cream…

as sher was leaving the commons
a young man
in a yellow hooded sweatshirt
with curly blonde hair
and big blue eyes
smiled at her…
‘hey…what’s your name?’
sher smiled
but said nothing.
her new friend yelled,
“schultzy”, her name is “schultzy”
he smiled.
sher’s heart skipped
10,000 beats
and then he said,
‘i like your shorts.
my name is Peter.
wanna go for a walk?’
what just happened?
did this gorgeous
buff guy just ask
gumby- no tits no ass- me out?
sher smiled
and said,
her first night on campus
as a college freshmen
ended with her first
freshman kiss
in the tiny chapel
before God…
he was a senior,
a football star
from northern wisconsin
he would become
the first man
she ever loved
on her own terms…
but for tonight,
at the age of 18
only 89 miles from home
in a state where
drinking age was 18
unlike Illinois 21
on a small lakefront campus
buzzing with new faces
under the brilliant twinkling stars
holding the hand of
a gorgeous young man
who had the most crooked fingers
she had ever scene
the softest smile
and sweetest voice,
who told her stories
about himself,
his family,
his dreams and
of being in ‘God’s country’
which is what he called
mr. blue eyes faded completely out
of her mind

as she raised her lips
to greet his for a second time,
standing next to
lovers rock
listening to the water crash
upon the shore,
sher let go of rules
of being controlled
of all the hurtful names
she was called
of feeling unloveable
and unwanted…
this guy did not seem crazy
like her hs boyfriend…
she was willing to
take a leap of faith
and allow her heart
to open.
all the while, her brain
was telling her,
‘well at least the landing pad
for your broken heart
is soft sand… because you know
you were told over and over
you are a mistake…’
‘no, no, no’
she cried,
as she lay upon
her soft sheets
alone after
peter walked her home…
‘i am good enough
i will be ok
he is kind…’
soon, sher was fast asleep
dreaming about having wings
knowing this was the
footpath chosen for her
and that maybe it wasn’t her dad
that truly picked it,
but God….