About five years ago I was walking to work through the winter splendour of high park- the garden of trees. The sun was just beginning to sparkle and ignite the entire
landscape into a brilliant dance between the blacks, the whites and the blues. The fields of snow I glided through were non-chalantly transformed into diamonds. There was no mistaking nor second-guessing this glory that didn’t seem to mind whether it was witnessed or not. Breathing in the pristine cold only added to this crystallized world.
But my world was murky, under shadow and confusion, sadness and regret. Someone that I had worked with had committed suicide in a most grizzly and violent fashion. I reflected upon this life of anguish and how the swirl of bad fortunes, sabotages and other negativities lead to that final impenetrable wall of hopelessness.
All the fog in the universe was in my head and heart. There was no escaping it.
We had lived together on Heavy Rescue #2 in the City of Toronto’s fire department and had worked through an encyclopaedia of calamities. Crisis layered upon crisis, human disintegration in every form, desperate insanities and chaos was often our lunchbox menu of what assault our witnessing would next consume. But amidst all this there were always unforgettable moments of joy and hope and wild laughter – rib-bruising laughter. That made for a life ravenous and thirsty for more.
And yet here I stood on top of Hawk Hill watching my shadow and feeling a rock for a soul. Into this emptiness a seed flowered into a poem, which has become my question and answer. I didn’t create this poem, something else and everything else did.
We stand with our backs to the sun
Questioning the source of the shadows we see
These elements of darkness are we
The children of light
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