First: thank you.
Thank you for allowing me to wake up to the most frost-laden trees I've ever seen. Thanks for giving me the chance to walk by myself down the road in the country to drink coffee and eat breakfast in the mornings with people who love me. Thank you for showing me what it's like to live beyond civilization in the wintertime -- and for making sure that there was always someone to help push my car out when it got stuck and shovel my deck when it got too much. I loved the silence of those early winter evenings when I'd light a candle in my window to feel warmer and safer. Out on the deck, if I was quiet, I could hear the gentle movement of horses in their pens down the road, and I liked that very much.
Thank you for finding me a cute little house in Garneau with two people with whom I have long been friends. Thank you for the white trim on the fireplace and the books on the shelf. Mostly, I am grateful for the location of this house and for the walks springtime rain with a lime green umbrella. And for the trees, which bend to touch each other over the road in the summertime, a canopy of green and so many birds. I have delighted in backyard campfires and drinking beers on patios with sunglasses pushed up into my hair. I have loved walking to meet friends at pubs and coffeeshops and bookstores. I will never forget you, two-thousand-and-ten, for giving me this first place in the city.
Thanks so much for providing me with the opportunity to let even more love into my heart (and out of my heart; it's a two-way valve) and for bringing me closer still to a man who is becoming exactly who he'd hoped he would be. He is ever stronger, ever more brave, and ever more compassionate. Thank for for the house we bought together, for the walls we'll dress with things that are ours, for the life together that we're continuing to build on. Twenty-ten, you have seen the two of us take enormous steps --- leaps and bounds --- and we'll just keep on going.
I wanted to thank you particularly for the new friends I've made. You have shown me, twenty-ten, much more than your predecessors, how to connect with other human beings, how to reach across the void of being just a person and start to form communities. Thank you for the community I am now a part of, and thank for teaching me how important it is to be with other people, no matter what. To love more fiercely those around me.
I know it hasn't all been good, twenty-ten, but I know that my melancholy nature, professional shortcomings and self-destructive behaviour isn't your fault; it's mine. But I am aware now what I lack, and I will try to do better when I meet twenty-eleven. I will try not to get so caught up in the dramatic depressive tendencies of being a poet. I will be more grounded. I will be more organized. I will accept the things about me that I don't like, and I won't allow those things to affect other people. I won't allow those things to interfere with my relationships, and I'll love even more than I did with you, twenty-ten.
Oh, twenty-ten, you were a teaching year --- you taught me so much, even when I didn't realize it. I appreciate you. I am grateful for the many delights you provided, and I am ready to say goodbye. I trust that twenty-eleven will still show me frosty trees, colourful umbrellas, and all of the love I can possibly stand. I hope it will. If these things are not apparent, I will go looking for them, which might prove to be better in the long run.
Take care, twenty-ten. I'll miss you.