on the sunny side of the street
It started with the sunshine.
On Sunday the permanent grey clouds over Paris finally lifted. I sat on a bench by the carrousel in Montmartre, the sun painting my face, reading a book on desire, while I waited for a friend who had been juggling by the Sacre Coeur.
On Monday, the sun was still there. I managed to make it to a morning yoga class, where the sun danced up the walls. And then, for the first time since early fall, it was warm enough to sit down when I took the kids to the park.
When the sun set over the grass I was taken right back to my childhood. Suddenly I was at Dunderave beach, sitting at a picnic table while the sun set, our faces glowing in gold. I could practically smell the salt off the Pacific Ocean, the burger stand, the grass, the sand, the root beer, and the chocolate fudgsicles.
I've been dreaming of the Pacific Ocean these days. I could hardly believe it when my mother emailed me and said she had to see me soon. She said that either she could fly over or I could fly home.
Fly home? This never seemed like a possibility. It's been over a year since I've flown home, to Vancouver, the pretty young city where I was born and bred.
My first reaction was that I couldn't. Touching back on Canadian soil before the French adventure was finished felt like defeat.
My mom told me to think about, that the family wanted to see me, and that if she flew to Paris it would be short. Eventually I lifted my veil, saw love standing right in front of me, and realized that going home is what I want more than anything right now.
Life suddenly seems so kind. My flights are booked. I'll be home for ten days in April. I can hardly believe it, and have been shaking with excitement ever since.
The sun is still shining down on Paris, the kids have been smiling at me consistently, and I feel like I can manage anything. The long stretch of work left is being broken up by a flight home. Even more than that, I'm suddenly aware that I have a home. I have a family. I have a bedroom. I have friends. I have solid ground.
In the park with the kids today, I stood watching them, standing in a patch of grass that the sun was hitting. They were planting long thin branches into the soil, claiming they were planting trees. I called my mother on my cell phone, smiled into the receiver, and felt warm all over.
When we ran home across the bridge, it wasn’t raining, I wasn’t rushed, and I let the kids stop and spit in the in the glistening Seine.
For once I’m not looking for the bright side of the situation.
The sun’s shining right on me.