I like smelling where others have been.
A woman’s perfume that lingers. The faint trace of a cigar, long-extinguished.
It makes me think about all of the lives I may never know.
All of the hearts I may never touch.
This morning I woke to a stretching sun. A ball of bleached blues and sherbet hues, melting its way across the frozen skyscape.
Before the herald of our first alarm, I silently stole from our warm nest of blankets and limbs – a dreamspace that Marc and I each night create anew – and crept into the cool dark of the house.
Nymeria yawned and quietly mewled from her corner of the chesterfield, her eyes squinting in discomfort as I turned on one of the small side lamps.
The soft light illuminated the many discarded tea mugs and half-finished books populating the table space of the room.
(Hallmarks of a busy workweek and my inability to ever finish a drink.)
I drank a demi-cup of sugary, dark coffee, and read from one of the books, marvelling all the while at the stark beauty, ablaze, across the New Westminster waterfront.
I then slipped into my beautiful new running pants, laced up my runners, and set forth to immerse myself in the golden glow of a world, seemingly reborn.
There are times in my life, where I am unable to stop myself from crying. Tears stream easily, unencumbered from the corners of my eyes. They are fat pearls of emotion – of happiness beyond equation.
And this morning I cried.
Racing an untameable sun.
I felt as though I could keep moving forever. That I might blend my body to my path, eternal.
Returning home, I caught a fragrance of a women. And for that moment, I breathed a life; a mind, body and soul – now vanished, or perhaps vanquished – within the thrum and hum of a waking day.
And I was hit with a sense of nostalgia so strong, I quaked.
I was five and cuddled up next to my mother as she read aloud to me on my bed; I was ten and exploring my grandparent’s basement bookshelves, as the dust swirls sparkled in the amber light; I was nineteen and working late closing shifts, experimenting with eye contact and fake names; twenty-four and riding my bike down Hagley Road under the muggy, Brummy sun; twenty-nine and dancing my heart out, my hair stuck to my back, and my calves like two hot rocks; thirty-five and forty-four, and sixty-seven; I was past, present, and yet-to-be present.
Who are we all?
Why are we here?
From where are we going?
Infinitesimal sums of beauty and strength, of wonder and light, of magic and marvel, of love, of love, of love.
So just keep breathing.
And let in the light.