The calendar is relentless.
Some anniversaries I sense by the angle of the sun and temperature of the air, feeling them innately before consciously cluing in on what the date is. A familiar breeze on my skin, squinting in a certain way as I walk down a certain sidewalk... I am briefly transported back to another time, to another person. It's something I picked up early in life, and first noticed when I went away for college, walked outside on the first balmy morning of spring, and felt a stab of giddy anticipation I immediately recognized as the excitement heralding the new soccer season.. and tasted the penaut butter cookies my mom always seemed to have made on the day I filled out my registration form. That one persisted for a while.
Now there are new associations, perhaps tellingly tied to individual people rather than group activities. The crazy whirlwind centered on that one girl and the other one I thought was her soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend... a breakneck drive up the West Coast and back filled with wonders and discoveries completely unrelated to the girl that made the heartbreak worthwhile... the growth of one friendship on the heels of another's demise... the longing for someone I could never have... the comfort of an old friend... the tantalizing first exploratory steps of a new relationship... the melancholy of looking back and finally understanding William Blake, all the while wishing I didn't.
It is a strange sensation, this fleeting flashback transformation into my past self, a person I no longer inhabit and, at times, find it hard to understand. I wonder what place I will look back from when I re-enter this time in my life, what insights I will have then to put all the pieces together and see something good.