SWORDFERN
Rooted, I used to think.

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Open Your Eyes - Sunday, Apr. 14, 2019
Pulp Mill - Wednesday, Apr. 10, 2019
Constellations - Saturday, Apr. 06, 2019
Thirty-Sixth Floor - Thursday, Apr. 04, 2019
Peter - Wednesday, Apr. 03, 2019


Sunday, Mar. 31, 2019 @ 12:48 pm
Beautiful



Sunday morning, five degrees, blazing sun. Riding my bike down the side of the mountain, across the suspension bridge and the sparkling harbour, through the cool and dim forest, bursting out into the concrete and glass of downtown. Traffic is light, and I own the lane, casually weaving between the buses. Me and my bicycle are one, attached, my freedom, my happiness. Snapping one foot out of the pedals at stop lights, placing that foot down. I don’t think about any of this.

I ride under the arching gate into Chinatown. The air smells of spices, frying, baking, ripening vegetables.

I find the yoga studio, hoist my bike onto my shoulder, and clamber up the stairs into the secret garden, the ethereal studio in the sky.

I see my friend Isabelle. She comes over to hug me, and her cheek presses against mine, “Oh, your face is so cold!”

***

One morning this week, I woke with a hollow and aching heart. Fear, distrust, regret.

That morning, a fire truck blazed past me, all sirens and lights, and my tender heart hurt even more, wishing for one of those firemen to jump out, clad in smart navy trousers, and wrap me up in his broad arms. To save me from my hurting heart.

That night, I tried desperately to find my radiant inner joy. I put on my running shoes and jogged up to the reservoir, watched the sun set reflect in saturated oranges and pinks off of the still water surface. I ran through the forest at dusk in an attempt to scare myself into feeling something other than sadness. I stood in the middle of an empty playing field and cried. I miss you. I miss you. I am lonely.

***

Slowly, over time, the sadness passes.

Sitting on a patio in lunchtime sunshine, Robyn tells me that it’s her birthday. She chose me for her date for her birthday lunch. We talk about relationships and share food. I watch her hand shake a little as she holds her fork mid-air. The way that we have come together, to teach each other, to see each other. I see her anxiety, her nervousness. I see her becoming stronger though, and the shaking is less than a month ago.

“He never told me that I was beautiful,” she admits.

“He told me that he didn’t believe in saying ‘I love you’,” I respond.

We look at each other in silence for a moment.

“You are beautiful.”

***

I go swimming. I push off the wall through the water and love the expansive depth below me, the deep end. I’m barely below the surface, all this depth below. There for the taking.

After, in the sauna, all of that hot cedar air burning my lungs. Feeling the drops of sweat forming and then falling down across my collarbones, down my arms.

Slowly, every so slowly, I move back into joy and all of that hollow ache dissipates and falls off of me, like a shedding skin.

***

The room at the yoga studio is drenched in light, and a breeze blows through the lace curtains.

In one moment, my face close to a plain white wall, I experience a sense of vertigo, of weightlessness.

The wall disappears and all I see is light. There is music. I feel safe.

I feel happy.


Roots | Shoots