By Stephanie Platter

A welcome distraction

Jacob wrestled with God. I have no idea why. I have no idea how. I just know that he did. I know because I too wrestle with God. I’m wrestling now. Confounded by the parasitic terrorist of a germ threatening my normalcy and yours. So I walk to the water to make sense of it…

In excelsis

Angels we have heard on high. But rarely do we see them. When we’re low and need the peace to help us muster a smile, it may take an angel or two. Seasons show us the cyclical nature of life. One year ago I was being prepped for surgery to remove a very large tumor…

You Must Be This Tall to Ride

I wonder what it takes To ride the Tilt-o-Whirl from one inch below the line. A new set of boots? A fast fiver? A diversion? A boost so sly That a fluff of puffy hair Or solid boot heels Could mean the difference between Seeing the world And not being quite good enough Or are…

You’re braver than you believe

Piglet and I have something in common. More than our affinity for red scarves and the fact that I often turn his shade of pink this time of year. Piglet and I are often afraid. “Oh d-d-d-dear!” I believe I was almost 25 when I first realized that fear had far too much say in…

Present packs a punch

Come in! And know me better, man! Your arrival signals a welcome, like a surprise party. Waiting in the best gathering place in your home is the larger-than-life Ghost of Christmas Present to your Ebenezer heart needing a bit of a kick-start this year. Huge and hearty, always laughing, enjoying the moment, Present is eye…

What do you expect?

Hygge is comfort, the long sweater love lingering conversation over coffee leaves falling sweet scents of breads fresh from the oven and joy of the soul. Dreamy. School has begun again, and it always makes me want to rewatch You’ve Got Mail and buy sticky notes. A friend once brought me a bouquet of sharpened…

The Eighth Grade voice of reason

Abandon accolades and Aristotelian ethics. This is the Eighth Grade. There’s too much pressure to be the paradox. Preteens wade between two polars: the homogeneous clones—prone toward whatever the popular populous deems cool—and the individual butterfly waiting to explode in uniquely bold genius. Eighth grade is too much for all of us. In the fever…

If I only had the nerve

The swarthy tones mingled long and loud over the packed multipurpose room that late Saturday afternoon for the boy who stood playing the Beast. It had taken him hours to assemble himself that day. Girls swooned in silent corners watching as the one lucky makeup girl, who had volunteered months before so as to simply…

Snap peas

Reject the notion that you are not enough. Or that you are too much. Or that you don’t have what it takes. Reject all the lies that you are tempted to believe, and begin the adventure of knowing that it’s okay to be you, exactly as you are now, in your shoes, in your skin,…

“Moonless Darkness Stands Between” 

In The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a small motley troop of friends offers gifts that prove they’ve been listening to one another, that they care about each other’s details and dreams. If only all gifts could say what we want them to, could show our deep affection, could bless and enrich another for life.…

I See Myself

I see myself in the stream up the mountain behind the log cabin in the drenched living woods of the Northwest.   I see myself in the standing wheat, long and perfectly even like matchsticks. The wheat becomes waves and I am both Midwest and west coast. I am warm wind and misty rain. I…

A cap full of coals

I had an unhealthy friendship in junior high, a girl called Kate. I think I was fascinated by her ability to wield popularity as power over peers. Like the kid with the fancy fruit roll up who can take the fruit cup kid out with a glance. Kate’s voice commanded dominance as she led her…

Forgive and forget…and dance

Todd was abusive. Kate was a gossip. Laurel was downright needy. Life was tough in the fifth grade. My mother hated the slang that came from having fifth grade friends. Let one juicy almost swear tingle on the tip of your tongue too long and she’ll sense it. “We don’t say shucks or darn or…

See those clouds over there?

In junior high I made a tornado machine. For the science fair, I was determined to do something showstopping, something smashing. No clay-made volcano of baking soda and vinegar explosions would suffice. Our summers growing up were often spent driving to and from Minnesota so my mother could help on the farm. I assumed in…

Shoot the Moon

Stay singleminded. Focus. Be confident. Follow the heat. Run like your life depends upon it. But don’t get cocky. There’s always going to be somebody better, but strive to be the best. Follow your dreams. If your tired of giving up, stop quitting and make your dreams come true. Shoot for the moon, miss and…