Rooted, I used to think.

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The Birthday Dance - Friday, Dec. 20, 2019
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Saturday, Mar. 02, 2019 @ 11:36 pm
Winter Cycling

I wake feeling hollow.

I am restless as I eat breakfast with my mother. I want to cherish these moments. I don't want to feel annoyed with her; it seems ungrateful.

While I wash the dishes, I consider going over town. Going back to bed. Going up into the forest. My legs are sore from skiing, and I woke too early, so my body feels raw. I woke with a jolt from a dream of holding hands with someone, awkwardly, but then they fixed it and it felt better.

I look at the time and the cold sun outside. I should go out; the city will distract me from my emptiness.

I ride my bike down to pick up a car share. Load my bike onto the rack and drive over across to my old neighbourhood on the other side of the harbour. Unload my bike and lock it in front of the yoga studio.

I arrive in time for Troy's class. My favourite spot is somehow empty, the last spot in the class. The front left corner, in the Saturday morning sunbeam. The class is slow and meditative. I work to clear my mind, to listen for the silence within me. Silent and calm. There is a moment where my arm is extended in front of me and a pattern of light falls across my pale forearm from the Venetian blinds. Alternating stripes of light and shadow. My chest rising and falling. Later, my face pressed onto my mat, I smell the sage that was burning during my last class in Revy.

"Know that right now, you are enough. Just as you are, you are enough," he says. I have to put my hands on my heart to keep it from falling from my chest.

After, I unlock my bike and set off towards the beach. Winding my way along the cycling routes, each one so familiar. The city glassy and sparkling beyond. I settle into my bike; it's been so long since I've ridden my city bike. The feel of the steel frame, the way the pedals feel clipped to my shoes; the bike is an extension of my body.

I ride out to the beach where the harbour is more open with rolling waves. Sailboats out among the freighters. A man flies a kite. I sit on a log and have my lunch. The cold wind on my face. My hands becoming numb.

I could live near the beach.

I dump sand from my shoes and saddle up to head home. I ride along the ocean and over the first bridge, then wrap around through the West End. The sun is setting, and people are emerging from their apartments to witness the colours spreading up from the horizon.

I weave around people smoothly, silently. I make intense eye contact with men, over and over. They stare at me, see something. I'm not sure what. I'm full, now. I'm full. I'm full to overflowing, and everything is beautiful. My legs strong, my heart strong, so much freedom. Gratitude. How lucky I am to be able to ride like this, in a place like this.

I cross the Lions Gate and the sunset flames up tangerine and magenta from under the clouds. I stop at the apex of the bridge and watch for a while. The suspension bridge quivering from the traffic. There's a suicide phone on the post behind me.

I arrive home a half hour later, the air damp and heavy with forest smells. I park my bike in the workshop and go upstairs.

They are laying supper on the table.

I wash my face and sit down to eat.

The food is comforting but redundant; I am already full.

Roots | Shoots