Friday, May 1, 2009
Because I'm so good with dates, I know that I said goodbye to London for real and for good a year ago yesterday. I remember the way my room looked after all my possessions had been wrapped in newspaper and placed into boxes upon boxes and even more boxes. So empty and blank, I wondered how I'd spent the past eight months within those walls and I asked myself where those eight months had gone and what I had to show for them.
But, as unattached as I'd been to that always somewhat barren room, unattached was I not to that city I'd spent the past four years in. This connection grew slowly, and was hesitant always, but it was there nonetheless. I still remember the tears that fell as we drove that familiar path to the highway "one last time." I was trite and stared out the window, not saying anything to the boy sitting beside me, wanting to remember the way the city looked in the middle of spring. I thought I could freeze frame those trees and the sunshine two hours west and the way the sun bounced off those trees just so. It was at that moment, as the tears fell and as the boy said "It's okay to cry", that I finally realized how much of my life was woven within those streets and those trees and reflected in that southwestern Ontario sun.
Now, a year later, I find myself welcoming spring in a city two hours east. A city that I knew would always be home during those four years spent away. And though Toronto has always been that home waiting for me to return, I can still close my eyes when I wake to an early morning breeze and I can still for a moment imagine I'm back there, back where the air was always cleaner and back where the trees were forever taller and where the morning noise outside my window was always quieter and slower and where the boys were always sweeter. In the morning, or very late at night, I can pretend I'm still mostly wide-eyed and fresh and hopeful and excited about everything and romantic and a believer in love and affected. All my growing up is attached to that one forest city, and now, here, in a city I couldn't wait to return to, I'm simply grown.