Sometimes in a moment alone after a thread of days spent around people for extended periods of time I’ll feel a very distinct feeling of hollowness. For sanity, I require time to just be quiet and still- maybe scrolling through websites, paging through a book, or staring out the window. Although necessary and mostly tenderly enjoyable, there’s a barrenness to the space around me when instead of clattering around in the kitchen or chatter from across the room I hear only the mechanic purr of the heater and cruel tick of the clock.
In these moments alone, when the glow of a screen has been turned off and there’s no music on to distract from the loud, loud hum in my head I think of the experiences made with people recently. I think of the powdery blue hours spent feeling warm and encompassed, that begin to feel as familiar as the spine of my favourite book or the smell of the softest pillowcase. Of the intimate, every day tasks and activities that can be so much better when shared. I consider the lives of the people around me; that while I may know the person well, I’ll never truly understand their minds or hearts or emotions they wade through each day. It’s easy to forget that the world doesn’t revolve around me- that each of the people I love may love me just as much, but very likely see things so differently. They have plans and hopes and reservations, just as I do.
Last night as I was riding home from Thanksgiving celebrations with Brooke, Cassie, Nick, and Ricky we talked about our future children, what they’ll be like (will we have them?), how we’ll handle them, how we’ll interact. Will they be little bats out of hell, making extreme levels of noise and latching on to the most energetic, playful person in the room? Will they find pleasure in reading a book or scribbling pictures in the corner quietly as we- the adults- carry on? The thought of us all being parents was astounding. That one day we’d travel back to the chilly car ride home from Thanksgiving 2016 and laugh- remembering our current selves and thinking about how everything transformed, so quickly and expectedly and unexpectedly and naturally.
Maybe we’ll find ourselves living in tandem in quieter chapters; in magnificent, placid community. The worries that plague us now will be distant and instead replaced with new ones tied to years I can’t quite fathom. We’ll laugh at the things that once angered or confused or panicked us- and maybe we won’t. Maybe those things will still clutch at us like the slimy kelp that brushed our toes at summers at the lake, where we used to swim and burn under the sun and cry about boys and get in fights with our parents for not letting us drive into town. When we’d skinny-dip unapologetically and pedal our bikes hard and scuff our knees against sweltry pavement, our only concern of whether we’d make it to the next Sherwood concert on our meagre retail paydays.
Now it seems we’re doing this strange tango with time; we’re not quite old enough to really be nostalgic but feel it so deeply and we are old enough to envision all of these things, these lives, these dreams- woven into reality. We’re abashed and exhilarated and terrified and I think we’re all a bit in love with this feeling. This wonder.
And I think that just as we turn back and laugh at our sixteen year old selves with forgiveness and mild adoration, the future us will take our current selves into a deep, persistent embrace- gently and deftly.