I learned to surf on the TTC through the palpable joy of the dancing channels of multiple languages.
As a child, I sat on the bus and the subway and stared at strangers. I’d look the mean ones right in the eye like it was a competition and the loser had to stop being mean.
Some found this amusing. But it didn’t serve me well when I started taking the bus on my own at nine.
There were good people on the bus. People who reflected my own goodness in revealing lilts and cadence. These pockets of tender grace were my freedom.
Listen, some miracles are really hard for grown ups to believe.
When I was eleven, my parents moved me to a town where almost everyone sounded like me. The similarity swallowed me. I was too young to know myself and too old to hold onto truths that aren’t questioned in childhood.
I lost my truth when every voice I heard sounded too much like mine or those in my family.
This was isolating. There was no way, in my blindness, for me to prove our interconnectedness to a young mind.
It was easy to discount the greater truth at an age where fitting in felt vital, but it came with the cost of dismissing myself.
My ancient heart is fearless. What is a heart, though, without an echo?
My heart was invisible. But in those pockets of grace, those beautiful strangers and acquaintances in my birth city, there was no denying her existence.