On a rainy morning last year like this, you sat alone on the river back, kicking at the dirt and chunking loose bits of asphalt over the edge. It was all Vance Joy and vintage green American Touristers, waiting for a beginning that never quite took flight.
You couldn’t force it, couldn’t move forward, couldn’t be who you thought your boss, your family, your roommates, the person sitting in the car next to you, and
needed you to be.
You ran until your heels bled.
It was all Vance Joy and vintage green American Touristers and you and your soul’s new friend agreed God brought you here together, and you should hang on tight so you did.
It was Goodwill trips and treasure hunts, picnics in the park, motorcycle rides, and shows at the Basement where you learned how to make friends with strangers sitting against the back wall.
You slept with your AC off and window open, and the train sounded, when you closed your eyes, like the same one that ran behind your house by the Auburn tracks.
You knew you were home.
You saw yourself more acutely in the night air; gazing at your window from your back porch -a light box on the second floor-you thought your life here was already a memory, but I’m telling you now
It had only begun.
Your year wasn’t one ending or one beginning-you were more than any one story at all, and this string of triumphs and mishaps gave your heart its due need of exercise. I’m proud of you for not giving up.
You made a choice last year,
That year your memory caught up with you
And you decided to let yourself love and it didn’t always work, but your heart is more full than it’s ever been.
You don’t think about the clangs from the shipyard across the river in the park anymore, and even though it hurt to find and keep yourself, you did a good job
Keep your tears away from the dirt on that riverbank,
And if you have anything to do with the edge, I hope you take the courage to jump.
Don’t forget to remember this year your pocketful of unspent stars,
And when you reach in for a wish
I hope he spins you around the middle of the floor and for the first time
In a long, long time,
You aren’t afraid to dance.