Moving Day in Montreal

It’s that time of year again,
the time when, amidst the celebrations of birthing a nation,
the Montreal streets break open to mark both old and new,
transformed by our other national holiday:
Moving Day.

It is the one day when
the streets come alive
with the parts of discarded lives.
Some are refuse, long forgotten, brought forth again by the purging instinct.
Some are too much: too much furniture, too much teddy bear, too much of everything
to find a place in a new life.
Some are too painful, or too bold, or too difficult, to bring along for the ride.

So they find their way to the curb, to the street, to be left for good
–their owners moving on from them to the promises of a new life, new neighbors,
or possibly new everything.
There is something beautiful about the remains and the refuse, the moving on and leaving
behind.

Yet all the more beautiful is the resounding exchange therein.
When that new tenant, unknown neighbor, or old friend
finds new life in what you have cast aside.
Cuts to the curb, inspects what has been left, and
moves in what has been moved on from,

thus finding the treasure in the things we cast asunder, often so carelessly,
and finding beauty in the things we choose to forget.

Moving Day, when the whole world is rent asunder, with old and new,
reborn each year to remind us of what we leave behind
and what we look forward to.

-Anna-Liisa Aunio

About AL Aunio

Born in Boston and raised in working-class New Jersey, Anna-Liisa Aunio was awarded the Jon Bon Jovi “Dare to Dream” scholarship in 1992. She was 18. She had big hair. And it was the high point of her life. Been downhill ever since. But seriously, Anna-Liisa restlessly fled the lawns and picket fences of her youth first chance she got. Initially to New York City, where she traded on Wall Street (by day), whilst living like Carrie Bradshaw (by night); then to Baltimore, where she managed a national drop-out prevention program (by day), whilst living like Rick James (by night); and, most recently, to Montreal, where she teaches sociology at Dawson College (by day), whilst living like Claire Dunphy (by night). Along the way, she's picked up a few degrees—a BA from Rutgers, an MA from Johns Hopkins, a PhD from McGill—and a husband. But she'd prefer to talk about her kids.

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