STRONGER THAN EVER
As Easter dawns I am smiling, happy and content and memorising the faces of the beautiful people who surround me. Family and friends, all together, celebrating because we can, munching on incredibly good snacks and laughing because we can't help ourselves. I never want to forget these nights. The nights when you stay up till 3AM even though everyone planned to be in bed by ten. The nights when we are dancing to new records and running through the city with sparklers. The nights I don't think I could forget, even if I tried. This weekend has been beautiful, filled with the kind of lucid, incredible moments of love and hilarity that make life worth living.
It's the first time in what feels like forever that we've all been together, and I'm so grateful. I feel myself getting stronger again, building myself back up. These people, this family of mine make me strong. I am so happy.
I'm re-reading one of the first books I ever called my favourite. Inside the cover my aunt has written me a letter, dated 2007. It doesn't feel like nine years have passed since I was reading it for the very first time. So much has changed, and after writing down how I feel about the book now, I rummage through my memory box to find my journal from back then, wanting to see how I thought about it then. I was just a child, really. There is nothing quite like reading through your younger self's thoughts. It was my first journal and as I read through all of them leading up to today I can see glimpses of the person I have become within their pages. I feel nostalgic for a moment for those years I have lived and not recorded. and then I am forced to remind myself to live in the present. I am only 17, and I will long for these moments when I'm 80. It feels strange to think that in the grand scheme of things I am still extremely young. I can't imagine being old, maybe I will stay young forever.
It's a long weekend and I'm really enjoying the extra time in bed and not having a blaring alarm wake me up at an ungodly hour. Waking up naturally is the most beautiful thing. We go to church and the Easter masses are always really special and I feel my faith get stronger. There is fire and we all have little candles and everyone gets soaked by the Holy Water thrown over us. I catch eyes with Megan and we're laughing because the sprinkler looks like a massive toilet brush and it always makes us laugh, especially when we know we're not supposed to. We celebrate together when the Easter vigil is over and I'm taking the altar servers photo and when it's over selfies abound. We're laughing because we suddenly notice the stature of a Risen Jesus giving a peace sign is in the background and the idea of taking a selfie with Jesus makes us laugh even more. Everyone is happy and it's so nice. The next morning I'm reading at mass so I get up early and head back down to the church, yet everything looks different in the morning light. I fight with someone I don't want to fight with and tension is high. When I get home I work on essays and finishing my folio, in the midst of planning a race night and trying to get everything sorted.
We go to my aunt's house for dinner and it's so beautiful. We play the sticky note head game when dinner is over and I find myself laughing at everything. My mother keeps thinking she's a weather presenter and we tease her and my aunt when they're the last to guess correctly. I want to preserve the feeling of having everyone together, because soon everyone will go home and the weekend will be over. I focus on the positive side, that they are here now.