Freedom and Connection

If there’s anything positive I’ve learned this past week, it’s that we’ve all taken a great deal of our lives for granted. I mean, I’m pretty good at practicing gratitude; I write lists of things I’m thankful for, like hot coffee, and sleeping in, but now I realize that, far too often, those lists failed to get to the essence of the two things that truly matter: freedom and connection.

The ability to stop in at Wok Box after work to pick up Pad Thai (shrimp and tofu with extra veggies, please), Kung Pao Chicken (sumo size that one), and a Kids Dragon Bowl (sub rice for chow mein) for supper on a Friday night. 

The familiar comfort of the Hythe Arena: a dressing room packed full of hockey bags and laughter and bras hanging on hooks. The zippy last-minute swish-swish sound of stick tape. 

My Wednesday afternoon swims. A quiet pool. The underwater thump of my heart in my ears. Sun filtering through the big windows, dappling the surface of the water in a way that feels a lot like magic.

Saturday lunches at the Mercantile. Chairs pulled close for conversation. Coffee cups filled and refilled. Bowls of soup on their way. The promise of skor cake. 

My job. My students. Our work together. Our rapport. Our discussions about big ideas. That energized buzzy feeling I get after planning and teaching a class that went really well. The quiet confidence that comes from knowing I’m doing the work I’ve been called to do. 

The promise of a half marathon this spring and a full marathon this summer. Plans. Purpose. Goals to work towards. The unbelievably powerful communal experience of running with hundreds of other people. Feet pounding the pavement like drums. A high-five from a stranger. Music. Celebration. 

No more. 

But what I do have, is a new perspective to carry forward. A new perspective, that based on the Prime Minister’s message today, will only widen in the weeks and months ahead.

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