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A year ago today, we woke early and made coffee. We watched men put our things into a truck. We packed our tiny car with what we needed for 6 weeks, we stuffed the dogs in there too.

I remember driving away, whispering farewells to the house we’d called home, to the neighbours we’d called friends, to my favourite tree down my favourite street. When we left the familiar city boundaries, we turned the volume up and sang our sorrow into excitement and bubbly beginnings.

It’s been 365 sleeps (366 to be exact, since it was a leap year), and just as many emotions. Exhilarating days discovering our neighbourhood, our city, and days missing the comfort of the known. There’s still so much we haven’t done or seen, still so much to hold our attention.

I miss the forest and the river steps away from our front door. I miss the wisdom of the wind singing harmonies with the leaves.

But the trees in Montreal are approachable. They’ve been around people so much, they know exactly what to do with us.

And living in French has rekindled a part of me that had been forgotten.

So… here’s to another orbit around the sun.
Here’s to newness and challenge and discovery.
Here’s to transforming a house into a home, acquaintances into friendships.
Here’s to roots breaking through cement.

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(top photo from wehearit.com , bottom from jetpac.com)

One Foot Forward

 

long roadI’ve moved many times; almost too many to count. I like to think I’ve developed a few reasonable tools: the art of getting lost, the dexterity of being alone, the talent of turning bread-buying into daylong adventures, and the okayness of feeling isolated, sad, confused. This last set of skills is doubtlessly the most important.

Today is the last day in this city. Today is the last day in this community, in this part of the country. Today is the last chance to pack boxes, to whisper secrets into the walls of this old house, to run fingers along the mortar and the windowsills, to plant feet into the dirt of this particular yard. Tomorrow morning we’ll wake early. We’ll strip the bed, walk down the stairs, let the fur-kids out and make a final cup of coffee. Men will come with a truck to take our things – furniture and plates and shoes, memories and stories and truths. We’ll walk through our empty home, vacuuming the dusty corners as though gathering our tattered ends, tidying up the technicolour residue of our joys and of our tears. We’ll leave behind a beautiful and nameless edifice, ready for someone else to know love in. They’ll hang frames and find hiding places for their most private hurts and pleasures.

I’ve moved many times; almost too many to count. This time feels different. Momentous. All of the regulars have shown up, as if on cue: doubt, anxiety, excitement, uncertainty, willingness, readiness and unreadiness. There is a bubbling cauldron of magic too, a witch stirring in strands of hair, dirt, and possibilities. I can see her in the corner of my eye. She’s playful and coy and testing. If I try to look at her directly, she disappears; she is building my trust and my confidence. She is measuring my tenacity. She is teaching me a dance. It doesn’t start with fear or attachment. There is a pause as the music begins, and I move one step back on the second beat, grounding the left foot, then the right. There are a few quicker, harder to master steps moving into joy, a swing of the hips to shake off the ashes of who I used to be, a mammoth jump, and the promise of sweet release on the landing.

I’ve moved many times; almost too many to count. I’m at a fork in the road and this time I know which path to take. If you hold my hand, I will hold your heart.

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(both photos found on tumblr.com)

Soulmap

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This is who we are.
Sinew and bone.
Marrow and earth.
You and me.
Dirt and dregs and ashes.
Entangled roots and ancestors.
Ghosts of the past and forest dwellers.

This is who we are.
Intestines and organs.
Blood and water.
You and me.
Dolphins and seaweed and pirates.
Crustaceans caught in nets and fisherman.
Mirrors of each other and companion seekers.

This is who we are.
Courage and ribs.
Fire in the belly.
You and me.
Coals and rocks and flames.
Fearful hamsters and cages.
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This is who we are.
Two lungs, side by side.
Heartbeat and air.
You and me.
Dogs and fields and wheat-berries.
Rolling hills and farmers without land.
Compassion and corporations.

This is who we are.
Mouth and teeth.
Words and truth-serum.
You and me.
Eagles and crows and carcasses.
Too much space and chaos.
Disappearing acts and tiny boxes.

This is who we are.
Mind and centre.
Knowing in the unknown.
You and me.
Moon and stars and sky.
Darkness and shadowy corners.
Creeps and sweethearts.

This is who we are.
Crown and Universe.
Silence and sound.
You and me.
Galaxies and milky ways and nectar.
Contraction and expansion.
One and all.
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here we are

Variopinto de la Chacruna by Pablo Amaringo
i am a wise man,
a thousand years old.
i am the wise man’s daughter.
i am a tantra sister.
a nun holding a dying boy.
i am a wild little girl
running though the tall grass with you.
i am the buffalo and the birds.
i am you.
i came to visit you in your dreams
i found you in the celestial garden.
i cupped your sweet face
and felt the warmth of your breath on my forehead.
i went into your heart and held
your pain
your sorrow.
you showed me your beauty
you showed me your joy
and the wonderous twinkle
of our child-eyes.
you met me there in the
magic of the magic
and we sparkled together like the
stars and the moon.
and i want you to know.
i see you
and i hear you.
i love you.
i am holding us like the earth
hold our souls.
i promise.
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