“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift.” ~Mary Oliver

Years ago, I worked with crows, owls, and raptors when I trained to become a volunteer wildlife rehabilitator. I love nature, especially anything winged and feathered. I also love fast, thundering, vintage cars and getting my hands dirty turning a wrench. These passions might seem to have nothing in common, but each evokes a kind of power not achievable by the human body. Each represents a means of escape.

As a survivor of childhood and domestic abuse, I spent a lot of my life running away—from scary and dangerous situations, and from circumstances that threatened my emotional well-being. I also spent a lot of time running away from my dreams, my passions, and myself. Coming to terms with this legacy hasn’t been easy.

As a writer and artist, I’ve explored many paths to healing, and creative work will always be a big part of my journey. Every day, I recommit to accepting how my experiences have defined my sense of self and impacted the choices I’ve made. Now, every day, I practice running toward love.