Photo credit: Robin Malmanger

By Dave Markwell

I spent some time last night with a Des Moines guy. We chatted and laughed and drank beer in the sun. Shallow and deep conversation was had. Sometimes deep conversations are disguised as shallow ones. These are fun and not heavy, but mean something. With the light cloud layer shadowing the mountains at sunset, we sat in the pink twilight by the water a little buzzed and tired, but alive, too. It was a nice evening.

As I sit now on my deck in the morning looking over the water, I smile. I see and feel this town I love and am connected to. I am connected to its streets and structures and open spaces and its water. I’m also connected to its people. The people matter most. People always matter most. And, this little community has some beauties.

Through the living of lives, we keep our heads down and do our things and show up and work and try. When we lift our heads, we see some things that deserve a little more attention. We see what matters. We see the point of it all. We see the truth. In this truth, we can dance and grin and feel whole. People are the point, and the truth, and they complete us.

As I begin the soft scurry of a busy day, I take a breath of my sea air and feel its history. It’s my history, too. I feel the coarse sand of beaches I love and time. In my mind and heart, I see people I love, both here and gone, and I’m grateful to live in a place that they live, or lived, too. We choose where we live our lives and whom we live them with. As I remember and smile, I feel like I’ve chosen well. I couldn’t ask for much more than this. We’re all pretty lucky.

Dave Markwell is a life-long Des Moines liver and lover. Former owner of Waterland CrossFit and the Waterland Arcade, Dave is now using his unique story-telling voice to help small businesses tell a better story, and his love for people to help folks live bigger and better lives.

For more info. check out his website:

He can be contacted at: [email protected].