Coming Alive

It’s May, the most gentle month of the year. So far, it’s rained every day and I’m wearing a winter jacket again but I don’t care and neither does anybody else. It rained on my walk today, the type of rain that falls sideways and makes your hair stick to your face. I passed shops I had never seen before, saw signs of life in places that were once deserted. Chairs and tables have appeared in empty spaces. People, too, seemed to have sprung out of nowhere, their shapes visible behind glass windows where I once only saw my own reflection. 

After many months of silence and stillness, the city is coming alive. I thought I was in love with Edinburgh before but now I am understanding that there’s a whole side to the city that I have not yet discovered and that I do not know. It’s exciting to think that I can now sit in restaurants and visit cafés and go into shops. I can come out of hibernation; I can become part of something again.

Watching a city come to life is incredibly strange because the process of something transforming usually happens without us noticing. Things are either alive or they’re not. To notice something slowly unfold is a rare treat. It’s like witnessing something precious and intimate, something you know you’re not supposed to see but you’re too mesmerized to look away.

All my life, all I’ve ever wanted was to feel alive and be alive. Yet so many parts of me died last year, both good and bad. So many parts became silent and still, were emptied and abandoned. But now, as the city stirs and gradually re-awakens, so do parts of me. Only not in the way I imagined. It does not rush, or burst forth, demand attention, or make a scene. Rather, like the slow opening of a flower, life returns gently – hardly noticeable at all. And when it returns, it’s the most beautiful thing in the world. 

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