The first of July is a big day for me. Leading up to this day, I always feel displaced, anxious, and melancholic, and I usually forget why. Then, at some point around noon, on Canada’s bithday, I remember.
On July 1st, Four years ago, I sat alone in the dark on the balcony of my penthouse apartment over-looking Lake Ontario in Burlington. There were fireworks all along the harbour, and my boxer-mastiff Dudley was snoring at my feet as I was sipping wine. My ex-husband was gone, and never coming back, and someone new had planted something deep and inevitable in my heart. My life had utterly changed, and I felt completely and totally lost. The only thing that kept me rooted in the world that night was the moon, full and beautiful, and constant.
One year ago today, alone again, I declared it “first night” in The Fortress, and against the backdrop of another fireworks display, on another penthouse patio I toasted my freedom, and gave the moon a rueful shake of my head.
Today, as the sun arcs across the sky, and the promise of the approaching night cools the late afternoon breeze, I am still alone. I am stronger now, my home is filled with all of my things, and has been graced by my dearest friends many times over. Arthur now snores at my feet, tired from a swim in the lake and travelling across the city on the streetcar. I am o.k. I’ve lived with myself for an entire year, finding myself to be a most well-suited companion. The ache for someone to love is waning, mostly. I’ve planted a container garden of colourful flowers on my little terrace, and tonight I look forward to sitting there quietly, alone, to toast the moon. I’ll raise a glass to my own courage, and my tenacity. To my capacity for love and forgiveness. To my fragile, yearning heart, my thirst for life, and my profound gratitude for all of the incredible beauty that surrounds me.
If the moon completes her cycle, and I find myself still alone next year, I really don’t think that will be so bad.