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Stalagmites take an age to form. Water and gravity are the sculptors. Air, too, has a hand. What’s left behind are the minerals. Like I said, it takes an age to form. The result is a rough spear growing upwards.

I’m really good at growing stalagmites in my heart. You can sit and watch for hours, but you can’t visually measure the growth. Like I said: An age to form. You cannot keep your heart immune to the elements.

Caves full of jewels need some defenses though, just like roses and their thorns. It’s all a matter of time. The longer your heart lies still, the more time passes, and in that time come the insights. Give it time, and you can recognize the kind of people you let into your cave.

She’s purposefully excluding a gal friend and announcing it to the whole room. I’ve been on the receiving end of exclusion before (or being accidentally left out, who knows), and I know how much that hurts. That person doesn’t need to be in my cave. “Kindness” is the password to this cave of gems, and you don’t know it. Out.

He’s a proud ladies man. Seen his kind before. A young man once flirted with me as he led his girlfriend into the pew. “I’m a charmer and I know it,” I guess is what they’re thinking. Stay away, please. This cave is not for you.

Her every word makes me feel horrible about myself. I feel trod underfoot. “You’re so dumb,” is the undercurrent of her words and body language. Just because you don’t have a cave full of jewels doesn’t mean you have to make everyone else feel that way.

He’s controlling, and I must do as he says or else. Love is freewill. It’s freedom to choose. You will not bask in these jewels any longer. This is the cave of the Sidhe. I disappear in a wink, and you’re left in darkness. You can find your own way out into that world you inhabit.

Ahhh. But then there are others. They are sweet and uplifting. I can air out the cave with them. I can exchange jewels with them. An emerald for a diamond. A sapphire for an amethyst. I’ll build a roadway between our caves and we can come and go as we please. These are welcome visitors who add life and laughter, color and light to this place.

Welcome, friends. Welcome.