Renaissance: A poem

foggy UC Berkeley
Tristan Harward / Wikimedia/Creative Commons

It’s Jan. 11 and the world feels new.

It’s as if overnight the ground opened up, swallowed everything at its mercy and spat back out the universe I see before me. Everything looks similar to home — the same pavement that lines the same streets, the same horizon with the same rolling hills, the same sky that weeps on its bad days and radiates on its better ones. And yet, everything feels perfectly different — alien in a way that is both terrifying and exhilarating.

It feels dynamic. After years at a standstill, it’s a 100-meter dash. It’s a shot of the sun with a lemonade chaser. It’s Dorothy shifting from grayscale Kansas to Technicolor Oz. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s beautiful.

Simultaneously, it feels bittersweet. It’s leaving the warmth of your bed on a chilly Sunday morning. It’s getting lost, being found and getting lost again. It’s good memories that exist only in old photographs. It’s one door closing and another slamming open.

Truthfully, it’s everything I could have dreamed of and more. It is tangible, palpable change, change that moves mountains and alters lives — the kind of change I have been waiting so patiently for. It is rebirth, the first renaissance of my life, and it is revolutionary.

In the end, however, I only have four years. It’s not enough — never enough — but the clock ticks, the Earth spins, and I do exactly as I have been doing: I learn, I grow and I seek my next renaissance.

Contact Madelyn Peterson at [email protected]

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