I wrote this on January 4, 2017, when it all came together; this understanding that life can be hectic, but we can choose to sift through the chaos, and uncover something - anything - beautiful. This is my reminder to myself.
Last night, I left theatre eleven, and with it, Rowling’s world of magical beasts and promising wizards. No longer engulfed in a kingdom of beautiful creatures, wands, and spells, I was committed to Ottawa, a city I had chosen for myself – and in some ways, another world entirely. Like stepping away from the comfort of wizards in the shape of a book, a movie, or a piece of overdramatic fanfiction, I had left Brampton once again to take form in my most fragile state as a student – vulnerable and poor and stressed and unstoppable.
To get home, I debated spending money I could not afford to lose, or enduring the process of slush insistently permeating the worn leather of my combats boots. Naturally, longing for comfort won, but the price was paid in a commute home that was nothing short of complicated. From missing the bus, to selecting the wrong pick-up spot for my Uber, turning to a car that was in fact, not mine to hail, and being cancelled by the one that was, my ten-minute trip quickly became a thirty-minute debacle.
And yet, I could not find myself to be bothered.
As I jumped along the sidewalk, rarely missing antagonizing puddles, I could not help but laugh at the snowflakes creeping down my jacket, tickling my eyelashes, and ruining my phone (which was already glitching). As I raced between roads, debating the bus option once again, then doubting the correct stop to wait at, I smiled at the poor sense of navigation I knew I would never recover from.
I tried to curse my luck and find reasons why every commute I dared to take was disastrous in some way or another, but each thought was fleeting, overtaken by a dominant sense of wow.
I tipped my head back to the sky. I felt the snowflakes kiss my skin, but I could not pinpoint their course of travel. They appeared on their own time, drifting towards earth, drifting towards me.
I welcomed them with an open tongue.
I thought of God. His creation was all around me, flirting, begging to be recognized for its beauty. I thought of all the blessings in my life that came from Him. They floated around me like the fresh snow fall, resting on memory over another memory, until they settled into admirable mound in my mind’s eye.
I thought of the painful trip to Ottawa – the day’s tough endeavours, as well as my teenage years leading up to moving to the capital. The journey was painstaking. I was weighed down by baggage I refused to share, and stomped through conditions nearly impossible to scale without adequate help.
But, at that moment, I was looking up at the sky without shaking my fist. I smiled at the stars I knew were there, though they were hidden.
I saw God. He was smiling down at me. It was -4degrees, feeling like -16, but I was warm, wrapped in His love. At the same time, He seemed to be holding back a laugh – how foolish of me to think He would ever desert me.
I did laugh. I laughed because it was 12:47 a.m., and was leaving a movie theatre alone, since no one else wanted to pretend to be a witch with me. I laughed because I would never get the hang of the damned OC Transpo system. I laughed because I may as well have been walking barefoot in the snow. I laughed because I couldn’t tell the difference between my tears and the snowfall.
I laughed because I was alive.