Dear world,

These past few days the sun has managed to defy the weather forecasts and shine down with a gentle strength, hinting at what I can only hope will be a warm summer. It’s a welcome break from the rain, but also a tease. Knowing this city, it could be a false promise.

Regardless of the weather, these coming months are almost guaranteed to be better than last year, when the beginning of nice weather also signaled the beginning of a terrifying illness.

I’ve been back in Vancouver for more than twelve months now. Three hundred and sixty-five days (plus a week and a half). Full circle. Back to an apartment by the Quay, Seabus trips downtown, wine nights with The Girls that transport me back in time.

It’s almost easy enough to believe this past year has been a bad dream, to discount it, to be as fresh and eager as I was when I touched down a year ago. I had a false start, but maybe now I’m ready to take off again.

There is a tension, here. A push and pull between wanting to be brand new (or perhaps be who I once was) and to remember, to relive. Maybe, I tell myself, to make sense of it all.

My dreams are smaller now. That won’t necessarily be a permanent state of mind, but for now my ambitions have been scaled down.

I crave normalcy, routine and a sense of self. Those are the wildest goals I can aim for at the moment.

This isn’t a bad thing, though. In fact, the more I think about it the more I come to see it as a radical concept.

I remember a song from years ago, made mainstream by an Apple commercial, I believe. “I’m a new soul, I came to this strange world, hoping I could learn a bit ’bout how to give and take.”

That’s how I feel, tender and a little unsteady.

Maybe it’s the cherry blossoms, the scent of spring, the hint of new beginnings. Maybe that’s why I feel this way. But I like to think it’s also something more intrinsic. I can almost feel my muscles tensed, ready to spring forward.

I’m rebuilding and beginning. Everything is small and fragile, but also big and a little scary. And in a way everything is more mine than it used to be, or than it has been in a long time.

I’ve come so far. It sounds grandiose, but I mean it in the simplest terms when I say that I feel like my very existence is miraculous, that all existences seem miraculous right now. Think of the universe. From what we’ve seen so far, we go against the odds.

I feel a quiet confidence that wasn’t there before.

In the last month I’ve organized a successful fundraiser, spent a few mornings back in the office, laughed real, genuine, laughs, learned a little. I’ve been enveloped in the love of friends and family, submerged in beautiful friendships and sisterhoods. I went to a wedding and a Bachata lesson and an environmental documentary and a few too many concerts. I played basketball and went on a couple of hikes and went to yoga and read. Lately, my appetite has been voracious.

I feel like, finally, I can see the path to moving on. Actually, I’m already moving on. There was no starting line. I just bled into it, like ink and water.

I’m no believer but this year I’m reborn, risen from the dead. I’m a newly hatched chick, a crocus pushing through the soil. I’m April showers, May flowers.

So it continues. So it begins, again and again.