Someone lit a pipe behind me, a star shot across the sky, and a train chugged along parallel to our river. I was transported back to summer of 2012, when pipes meant good conversation and shooting stars were common. A summer when I learned who I was. And I wished, for a moment, that I could go back.
Lights sparkled in the distance as we moved from the darkness of the water to the brightness of the city. My heart felt very much like the boat I was on: able only to see reflections of the lights known up ahead, swimming in darkness. I was alone, but that wasn't necessarily a bad thing.
Four-years-ago-Allison expected some very concrete things of senior-Allison. Four-years-ago-Allison expected to be hired for a youth ministry position in her home diocese. She thought she'd have been in a household for four years. She planned on a ring by senior spring, from that guy she'd courted and they'd done 'everything right'. She was under the impression that she was already grown up.
Oh, how wrong she was. She wasn't prepared for the late nights, for crying with friends and coffee at 11 pm just because. She didn't know yet that heartbreak and crushed dreams (and not just the romantic kind) could be a good thing. She hadn't understood that household-hunting was a process, love isn't automatic and timed, and she had a great deal of growth left to do.
Last night, I stood beside my freshman year roommate in wonder at how far we've come since then.
And I came to realize that the night wasn't completely black, that there were lights reflecting in the water.