I looked out the window today to see the sunrays emerging from a pale yellow sheath. It’s the light of March. That feeling one gets when winter is crawling slowly toward the end of its life, and spring is birthed from wherever it curls up and hides. This is the last time, I think, that I will experience the emergence of an Edmonton springtime.
I’ve seen eight Edmonton spring times now. This one will be the ninth. Spring is a lively time in my life and always has been. It has brought with it significant and life-altering events, some good, some bad, and it is rich with memory. I tend to reflect on those memories more during the spring than any other time of the year because it is in spring that I’ve always ended up feeling most alive, most refreshed, most looking forward to the time that it would be summer and my life would be getting started and I’d be ready to experience revitalization – of longer days, blooming foliage, hot sunshine, and everything else that comes with the impending summer.
When I was 18, I found the best group of friends I’ve ever had in my life who I took for granted sometimes, which I regret. I moved back home with my parents for the summer following the school year – which was the best eight months of my entire life – on an unseasonably wet snowy day. And I cried in my friends’ arms.
When I was 19 I loved someone so much I barely knew that I was restless. I would walk around for hours and listen to music and wear sandals on my feet, even when small mounds of crusty snow were still melting away, when the North Saskatchewan River was still overlain with an uneven panel of ice, and just think about the illustrious him, who I would never have. Because I was 19 and that’s what 19 year olds do.
When I was 20, the sun had set on my time as a very young person. I lived in an apartment. I had new loves and new hopes. I was preparing for my first summer in the city.
When I was 21, I fell into a deep and impenetrable depression. I fell in love with someone again, so much it hurt, and that person hurt me more than I ever thought I could even be hurt. I wrapped my heart in a barbed wire fence and disappeared shortly after. I never wanted to be loved, or love, again.
When I was 22, springtime was a chance at real life. I was about to graduate. I was recovering from a broken heart. I could see a bright future for the first time in a long time.
When I was 23, I had resolved to move on. Personally, professionally, emotionally, physically. And I succeeded in 3 out of the 4.
When I was 24, I had changed nearly everything about my life and had done things I never thought were possible. I was travelling. I was rekindling old friendships. I was laying on Waikiki Beach after escaping one week of one of the coldest winters of my life. I was still working on the physicality of ‘moving on’, and it was still hopeless.
When I was 25, I had met someone who changed my life forever.