Prompt: Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).
It’s the word “most” that stymies me here. I had several, and alive isn’t the word I’d have used to describe them. Some are too personal to write about publicly, some take too much backstory, and some were fleeting and wouldn’t translate well to the prompt.
There were times I felt I completely inhabited my body; that’s one way of looking at it. Those two days in Toronto when I was on my feet for eight hours or more pounding the pavement in new neighborhoods? Everything spoke to me, my muscles, my bloodstream, my breathing all orchestra members with my brain as conductor. At night I collapsed into bed, unable to fall directly to sleep because I couldn’t turn off the connections between my brain and my other systems. Yoga, too, makes me feel every inch of my organism, unless the instructor’s too whispery—then I just get annoyed :)
And then there were times I felt as though “alive” was not even the right word; I felt like part of something bigger than just one life. Canada Day was a prime example. I love being in Ottawa on Canada Day when the entire country is celebrating. I love being in that huge, relentless, pot-smoking, giddy, noisy mass of people moving up and down Rideau Street. I got caught up in street concerts, displays, and eavesdropping. The core of me almost disappeared while I let everyone else fill me up; I felt shared. At night, instead of heading to our usual spot amidst the crowds at Major’s Hill Park or the lawn in front of Parliament, we found a nook outside a favorite store, shared bowls of gelato, and looked straight up for fireworks. All around us, employees of the various restaurants came out of kitchens and did the same, their aprons still on. I can’t distill a day full of flags, music, shawarma, people, knitting in the street, and summer down into anything smaller than that. It’s a unit for me, and that makes it a moment.