Rooted, I used to think.

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Monday, Aug. 22, 2022 @ 11:08 am
Late Summer

I take a long draw on the dwindling days of summer.

Lakes. Tepid green water, trout sleek and brown in the black depths. Browning. Brohm. Alice. How many lakes can I slip into in one week?

Climbing. Sport cragging with Anna, with Russell. Maybe in the full sun, sweat drying into salt crystals on my skin. Or maybe in the shade, with a hot wind, fragrant with cedar and hemlock, against the back of my neck. Clipping draws. My hands blackened with dirt and dust. The ache in my elbow that reminds me of the long days on granite.

Camping. Unzipping the canvas of the pop top and crawling up to sleep nearer to the tree canopy. An owl calling out in the night. His breath, in and out, and his hot brown limbs all mixed up with mine. Moving against me in the morning, my body supple and relaxed, very much enjoying these things that we’ve been doing together for years now. I close my eyes and know his body by rote. Afterwards, laying together dozing in the dim morning light, the smell of bacon drifts in from the family cooking in the adjacent site.

Brewery patios. I’ve lost count of all of the patios and beers. Sours, IPAs, saisons, lagers. Here, in the city, and also up in Squamish. The post-climbing beers at A-Frame. And I run into people that I know. A cycling brewery tour with coworkers. One, two, three breweries, and the sun sets in a glorious wash of melon orange and salmon pink. Michael takes a selfie while riding, with all of us cycling behind him, through the industrial district of the city. And then another brewery, after community yoga in the park, I sit down with two strangers from the class, who turn out to be digital nomads from London, and it’s like travelling in my own city.

An hour long drive with Anna up the Sea to Sky, talking about abortions and the pros and cons of having children and the hustle of being new in a career. How did I end up becoming this close with a brilliant woman from Norway? Her mind calculates twice as fast as mine. After climbing, she sits on the side of the lake while I dive in. She knows herself, and I admire her for that.

We go to the summer fair. Farm animals, the midway games, cotton candy, hot dogs. Plastic cups of beer. Superdogs! We are there for the concert but take it all in with gusto. I love having fun with him. We hold hands as we push through the crowd together, looking at each other and laughing when noticing the same things. My arms sticky with sunscreen.

At the show we poach empty bleacher seats, and then, after the sun sets and the band really gets going, we move into the standing crowd. We sway together and sing out the songs. Everyone knows the lyrics. The ferris wheel spinning and fireworks shooting off nearby. The Lions silhouetted by the setting sun. This is pure magic.

“She saw you on the screen,” Mark tells me later, describing how his girlfriend discovered that we were at the same concert. I wonder what we looked like. I wonder what the cameraperson saw when they saw us in the crowd and decided to zoom in on us. There must have been something; I felt it too.

And that something is everything.

Imagine muddy water that has settled; try to not disturb that, the peace that’s settled inside of you. Move forward with that wonderful clarity that is always there within you.

Roots | Shoots