Bookmark #342

I look at these warm spring days and nights. I remember the winter—a single day in particular. I recall the cold chair on the patio of the cafe I visited too often, the dew on the table, the drizzle of vapour in the air, the hottest cup of coffee I’ve ever held. Winter was not dry last year—there was plenty to cry about. I look around the building I live in; the flowers have grown in the garden downstairs—the roses, periwinkles, the daisies—burgeoning in the annual proclamation of we shall try again. I’ve found a lesson in my days lately: winter arrives, but so does spring.

But why was I by myself? As fond as we are of stories, we often don’t know what to do with endings. When it’s two in the night, and a book grips us, we keep reading until the break of day, and when we finish it, we lay in bed for another hour. It wasn’t about the book; it was about the feeling of not knowing what to do anymore. Every story left that feeling in its wake—the good and the bad alike. It was the end of one too many stories for me. Like I had just gone through books that tore me apart, one after the other, I sat by myself on the patio overwhelmed, with no one to confide in on an abnormally cold evening.

But eventually, when the feeling of something being amiss leaves, we get out of bed to begin our day. At first, the day at hand is slow and out of step owing to the emptiness, but then days pass. With each morning, memory fades and blurs. We often find ourselves talking about it all, of how we sat up reading, how it gripped our very soul, but never how it ended. Because nothing ever ends. The end of one book is the beginning of another. There is little I have learned, but I now know how all stories end and new ones begin—who I am today will never last. This story will end too.

But with this turn of seasons—sunny afternoons, flourishing gardens, endless laughter, and infinite possibility—a new story has begun. Years from now, when I’ve braved many winters, and I’ve seen many springs arrive regardless, I will tell them of these days, of how my life began in an epilogue. For now, the coffee sits on the table, and I must savour it before it gets cold.

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