my non-binary grandparent’s heart is being cracked open

I am following the sun, it is such a beautiful day to walk. But the wind is out and fierce, whipping my legs and I am getting cold. Too cold to keep walking, so I am heading to the next bus stop.

As I am waiting, someone else walking to the bus stop is catching my attention. Someone, more precisely a young nonconforming person with a delicate stature, Asian features, dressed simply and at the same time with a refined attention to details. The belt at their waist over their duffle coat. Their wide leg pants coupled with a fitted V-neck sweater. A silver necklace with pink stones swaying on their chest.

I notice because their coat is fully open.

I notice because of their expansive private smile. An offering for themself.

Their ears are covered by big blue fur earmuffs which crack me open. Filling me with one of those giggling inner bursts, releasing the tension created by the cold. And now my breasts are being activated, their energies are flooding my arms up to my fingers ready for a big mama hug.

My afab grandparent is ready to show up, I know, these are the signs. I get closer…

“I love the blue of your earmuffs, it suits you SO well.”

“Thank you, you’re so nice,” a bit of shyness in their voice.

And they reach out for them, taking them out, to show them to me?, to hear me better? I have no clue, but by doing so, they expose their hair. 

“And you have the same blue in your hair! I just love it.”

Their smile is now beaming with pleasure.

. . .

As I am coming down off the bus near Mile-End, I now see where this surge of care came from.

They reminded me of Kai Cheng Thom, writer, performer, cultural worker & speaker, who had cracked my heart open more than once with her work and in particular, in one of her workshops a few years ago, when she shared that she had lived so many years not knowing if she would be alive the next day as a transfeminine person in Toronto.

Maybe healing, caring are not linear. They happen in a vast continuum of spaces and times. 

At one point, one had not been safe just because of who they were. In another moment, someone else heard the story and they were softened and changed by it. And on another occasion, a third person received the attention that should have been given in the first place. 

Yes, healing has its own ways.