It's still right now. Unsettling things are sometimes called disquieting, but the stillness – the quietness – it's a bit much on it's own this morning. Eight years ago it was windy, and last year was unseasonably warm.
Today is my anniversary, and what I've learned is that the longer I live, the more anniversaries I have. The more meaning and history saturates each day:
April 4th – Bad News Day
May 10th – Start Something New Day
November 11th – Coulda Woulda Beena Birthday.
I'm fortunate enough to have had mostly good Christmas mornings. My birthday has been a mixed bag.
Today is the best.
And the worst.
Eight years ago I woke up with my head pointed in one direction while my heart pointed in another. Ditto last year. It's getting to the point where now when I see golden aspen leaves in the hillside or on social media, I start to cringe, to buckle down and anticipate the coming of the darkness.
I should have gotten married on the spring equinox rather than the fall, because then my anniversary would point me towards longer, warmer days rather than settling me into darker, windier nights. Equality seemed like a good message for a wedding, but that message wasn't the kind of magic that ends in happily ever after.
But there was magic in it.
Ten years ago I was on a train to the top of Pikes Peak and the wind rustled the billions of golden aspen leaves to the same melody that was playing in my heart. I was sure – certain.
Eight years ago I marched down the aisle after my heart had taken a dangerous tumble down the road less traveled. Less sure, but determined, nonetheless.
Last year I walked into the courthouse alone, the thunder of my heels clicking ARE YOU SURE? with each step.
When my doctor's office called me to schedule my surgery, I thought I'd get a handful of dates.
But this was the date that they offered.
I've run the gamut on this date, from absolute certainty to maddening indecision. Knowing this, I've given myself complete permission to back out at any minute, something I perhaps should have done eight years ago.
Something I should do every day.
But days like today are carved inwards like scars, each passing year offering its blade to the etching. Whatever time has healed reopens. This day is more than the equal weight of sun and moon, it has a gravity for me that I can no longer overlook. My ex-husband suggested that I stay in next year with the shutters closed, sealed in against the ineffable fate that will rain down on me, like the Universe has it in for me on this day.
I see it differently.
I think that this date is an invitation for me – like the one day a year the wormhole opens and I have the opportunity to walk through, or peek through, or click through and see the future. Or maybe just see life as it is without the layers of foggy memory and sad memories.
Today I get to walk into a building as one person and walk out with a new identity. I have done this before, thrice, on this very same day, from this very same vantage point to the sun. But this time I know who I am.
And who I'm leaving behind.