I spent the weekend with my oldest friends. Those who have lasted through decades (and then some), whose laughter was grateful wallpaper, whose presence brought peace when one or some of us were struck low. I don’t know what keeps certain people in our lives, and lets others go, but there is grace in it, and then some.
My father passed last summer, I should mention that. In the heavy days after, I left the city for a road trip with my son. We drove for hours, my mind empty of everything but the hum of hospital machinery, eyes wide with overexposure. After a few hours, we ended up in Prince Edward County and, over three days and nights beside a lake, with friends and among art, I exhaled. Flush with sunshine and ice cream, my gorgeously oblivious toddler splashed in the water and the sand.
Teaching life followed on the heels of that road trip, and all the stress that re-submergence into working life entailed. Between marking papers, course taking, evaluations, physiotherapy sessions, doctors appointments, flu sessions, dinners, conversations, and sleep (little/none), I had little time or energy to record my thoughts. Now, a year later (and a week shy of the anniversary of my fathers death), I am back-boned in a way I was not; wrinkled, occasionally, with moments of anxiety or over-reflection, but a smooth sail for the most part. I am writing again. Differently from the wrenching poems I used to pen or the exploratory vignettes brought back from travel. Writing is brighter now, distilled into colours and deep, joyful laughter – a room full of children, well come.