Rooted, I used to think.

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Little Brown Bat - Thursday, Nov. 04, 2021
Running with Peter - Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021
Haunted - Monday, Oct. 18, 2021
The Half Marathon - Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021
Shoulder Season - Friday, Oct. 08, 2021

Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021 @ 1:29 pm

A rainy morning in Vancouver. Grey sky, grey ocean, the mountains obscured by a light grey mist. Warm in bed, but wanting something else. I get out of bed, pull on my wetsuit, and head out to the beach. The water so very cold on my feet. An elderly couple, huddled together under an umbrella, watches me from the seawall. I walk calmly into the water and dive in, headfirst, without hesitation.

Underwater, I find myself in the midst of a school of herring, or smelt. Hundreds of small silver fish flashing around my head. Their bodies double the size of when I last saw them a few weeks ago.

A few days later, a rainy dark night. I head out for a run, my legs bare, my shoes laced tightly in an attempt to keep water out. I run around the lagoon, which is beginning to become heady with the decomposing carcasses of dead carp. I run into the forest. There is mist - low cloud - a fog that renders my headlamp useless. I run through the tall, old trees, the cedars and firs, and breathe the clouds into my lungs. I’m scared of the coyotes, of lone men. I turn a corner: a pair of beady eyes in the underbrush. I turn another corner, a man walking towards me, bedraggled and shining with rain.

“Where does this trail go,” he asks. I size him up, attempting to determine if this is a ruse, or if he truly is lost.

“To the lagoon,” I call out over my shoulder, barely breaking stride.

I emerge from the forest on the far side of the park. I run along the vacant seawall, water splashing up my legs as I tire of dodging puddles. Freighters offshore, their lights haloed with the mist. I run faster and faster, my lungs heaving, my calves burning.

In the end, I feel cleansed and alive. The quiet, rainy night. The humid and fragrant forest. My body, strong and free.

There have been all of these moments that I’ve failed to write about.

The lunch hour runs with Peter, and all of the time that we have now spent together side-by-side, our paces matched. Him talking. Me talking.

Hosting a dinner party, the warm light across the faces of my friends. Catching Russell’s eye across the table and feeling so very at home that my heart may burst.

Meeting Narcissa for a beer (or three…) for the first time since our different, yet somehow similar, life earthquakes. The beautiful oddness of her feeling like a lifelong, close friend, even though we’ve spent only a few hours together in person.

Cycling over to an outdoor swing dance. Seeing someone that I used to dance with at lessons, at social dances. I am nervous, but I ignore it and walk over and ask him to dance. We take each other’s hands. It’s awkward, as expected, and I laugh at myself and stay lighthearted. A large, warm moon rises through the city skyline. I’m dancing on an outdoor stage, and it’s terrifying and exhilarating. I dance with one other familiar man, and then I decide that I’ve had enough exposure to strangers for the night. Russell and I dance one more time, and the familiarity that we have with each other is soft and playful.

He is, without a doubt, my favourite person to dance with.

The rainy weather continues. Today, after work, I may swim in the ocean, or I may run in the rainforest, or I may edge myself alongside him on the couch under a blanket, my head on his chest, and fall asleep to the rhythm of his breath.

Roots | Shoots