In the sense of human emotion, time is relative, time is unpredictable. It frames the moments of our lives, with laughter and joy, with burden, loss, and hopefully with a balance that allows for a fulfilling and meaningful existence.
I have returned to my magical city, Montreal, in an inauspicious moment in time for me, the fourth anniversary of my husband’s death. I feel inexplicably drawn to this city, as bees to nectar. There is a bitter sweetness of memory here, one that carries me forward, yet lassoes me, pulling me back in time with memories of the time my husband and I last enjoyed this city together four years ago.
Walking the streets of Old Montreal, I drink in the energy of a culture that embraces the humanity of each encounter. I feel, in many ways, safe and secure here. I feel free. I breathe in my true self. I peek through my mask and feel the freedom to reveal my true existence – a woman who is living with half a heart, seeking the other half buried deep inside of an identity not yet fully revealed.
My walk takes me through the silence of the old cobblestoned streets, shadowed by modern architecture begging to co-exist as a backdrop to centuries of the brick and mortar that gave the city its identity. The old and the new, the past and the present, birthing a new song of generational soul.
Montreal is an intimate city. Its bustling streets emulate a resurrection quality. The synergy of its bi-lingual nature draws me close to its soul, its neighborhoods speak to my sensory memories and propel me toward self-revitalization. This city begs to swallow you into its joie de vivre. There is a deep intimacy of relationship here, a caring for the wholeness of a diverse community moving in its own purposeful rhythm.
I feel blessed to be part of this rhythm. That rhythm of life is a big part of my journey toward my personal wholeness. And as I reflect on the past four years, I have experienced much more joy than sorrow. My circumstances of loss may not be unique to me, but I have been privileged to be surrounded by caring and loving family, friends and colleagues who have followed and supported me in my journey. It is a journey that has a path that twists and turns and forces me to mask and unmask my emotions, sometimes publicly, sometimes in solitary silence.
So, I continue my journey. I take my wounds of grief, wounds that leave deep scars, but also deep memories of love. I also rejoice, knowing that the memories of my deep, loving, relationship will always sustain me. And as I continue to grow in my personal, singular identity, the power of that love will always be present to sustain me.