It's February 1999 and I'm strolling down the avenue in New York City. No, not strolling - something more chipper and intentional, less quirky than prancing, more energized than ambling. It's my fifth or sixth day in Manhattan, and I am in love with life. Having raided Freckle's closet and that of at least 2 girlfriends before taking off, my outfit is the perfect combination of fashion-forward and comfortable - a black leather biker jacket, a long boho chic skirt, a soft feminine sweater, the uber long & muppety burgundy scarf I bought on arriving in frigid Greenwhich Village. I am present, in my skin, happy, and free in the most alive city in the world.
A man I barely notice until I can see the white of his smile is approaching me in the opposite direction. As we pass he says, "you are gorgeous - thanks for making me smile." And I laugh, and say thank you, and we continue on our divergent paths - he back to an office, or home for dinner (no, it's too early for that), or to meet friends & colleagues for lunch, and me on my way to the New York Public Library to be hushed and awed and moved.
That crystal moment is one of my favourite memories. I relive it like I'm still in it - feel the crip Eastcoast air in my nostrils. The blush warming my cheeks, wondering who heard our exchange. The leather squeak of my jacket as my arms swing freely. The swish of his wool coat as he turns to speak, and turns again to carry on. The only detail that's missing for me is what I was wearing for shoes. Did I have knee high black boots then? I imagine that I did.
Whenever I feel that memory coming upon me I know it's a good day - a day to savour. A day to celebrate being. Today is one of those days. I need nothing. I welcome everything. And I am free.