I was asked to write an entry in a friend’s journal at the end of the summer in Skagway and I remember writing something like, “whatever happens in the upcoming months this is just a moment in our long lives”. Just as the moment sneaks upon us so too the moment flies by, and a new moment replaces it. Often times the moment can weigh us down or lift us up but whichever way it takes us, it is fleeting. A moment. I am reminded of this, which I wrote in her journal, of late, as I live the moments in my life.
Nervousness and tension always build inside me before I set off on another adventure. I wonder if I will have enough money to do this? Can I do it by myself? What will happen? Will it be a good use of time or a bad use? Will I learn something? Will it be fun? Will it be worth it? But then the day arrives and as always the adventure far surpasses my understanding of myself and I revel in the days and the moments that make up the adventure and the experience.
It was my first time back to New York since I have left it, nearly two years ago. I walked off the gangplank and immediately it all came back, I skirted around people and through people, found my luggage and breezed to the AirTran. Bought a subway card, my fingers nimble over the screen keys knowing where the answers to each of the question would be and boarded the train. A woman asked me questions and I pointed her in the right direction, a man struck up a conversation (he had only been in New York for 3 months – he would eventually learn). I fell into my old adage of steel face and “don’t fuck with me” look, playing games on my phone and being introspective. People stared. I looked different…I felt different. The life I had here a far cry from the one I’m currently living, but there was a rhythm that I easily slipped into and parts of that life came back with full force – it was easy, it was comfortable – hauling my suitcase and backpack around, transferring subway lines, walking the blocks. The beauty that is New York kept taking my breath away. But it was all different. I was not like the tired and sad faced people coming home from work with the weight of the city in their eyes, I was not the eager 20 something who is trying to become someone in the city, I was not the dressed up couple attending a benefit at the Natural History Museum. And knowing I was none of these people felt good. New York felt comfortable, like an old lover you settle down with because the feeling with him is nice and easy. It felt great to be back and opened myself up to remember why I lived there in the first place. Last night New York and I made up and reignited our friendship, it was as if she said, “Hey I remember you, welcome back! We had a helluva time, huh? But it worked out in the end. Come back again soon, you are welcome anytime.” It was a great moment.
Today I head up the great state of New York and into the lands of Canada – destination Montreal, for a weeklong visit. I step as usual from what is known to the unknown. This will be my first time in Montreal or even the eastern portion of Canada. As the train zips by birch forests, around the edge of Lake Champlain and the small towns with their beautiful New England wooden houses and spired topped churches; the scene unfolds from autumn to winter, a crisp chill cools the armpits every time someone walks back and forth between cars. The further north I ride the more excited I become of seeing the great city of Montreal and all her moments she has to offer.