Photo credit: Robin Malmanger

By Dave Markwell

Following a 3-2 cribbage game victory over my good buddy, and a 4-5 loss on vodka tonics, I write my words. Arriving home from a warm condo, I fed my sorry dog and not-my-cat and ate a sandwich in my yellow chair. With sports on TV, I like my life.

In spite of many imperfections, I just like my life, or at least this moment of it. I suspect it’ll change. It does that. But, I like trusting certain true things. They show up. Every single time. It’s nice to have these things. I’m lucky, and they’re lucky, too.

I am many unsavory things, but I am a good friend. And, I have many, too. I’ve earned them and they’ve earned me. Nothing is given. It’s earned. I like this part. And, I don’t take it for granted.

Through the storms, we all have safe harbors. We have flat water spaces where we can set our anchors and sit inside a cozy cabin and be ourselves. We can tell the truth and listen and understand and be troubled by others’ truth and be ok. We have people who just love us and want good things for us, and tell us their truth, too. As they see it.

“As they see it” is always interesting to me. People see many things and even the ones that know us best, don’t know us all the way. We hold secret lives inside of us. We reveal what we choose to share. Though a few special people can read our hidden words pretty well, they can’t read them all.

I like these secrets. I like having them and I like knowing that others have them. It’s intriguing and interesting. I’m not afraid or offended by these secrets. I like them. We need to save some shit for ourselves. I think. But, whatever deep offerings we reveal tells a sweet story of trust and respect and connection. They are love letters.

We write our love letters every day. We write them in our hearts remembering people we’ve loved. We write them by showing up and being honest and brave. We write them in our grief and in our longing and in our joy. We spend our lives writing love letters. We scribble them on napkins taped to a bathroom mirror or just think good thoughts about people. These love letters float in the air as invisible kisses. We feel them as they land on our cheeks and we smile. The air is crowded with love letters. This is nice to know.

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].