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Sunday Night Read: 'Falling in love with community'

This short story series submission is from Monisha Kumar of Port Coquitlam.
A house cat soaks in the sunlight through the window of its owner's Port Coquitlam home.

Can you fall in love with an intangible thing?

I fell hard, deep into the abyss of the arms of my city of Port Coquitlam. I fell hard for the beauty that surrounds us all around, the serenity of the mountains, luscious foliage that expands in the horizon as far as our vision can take us. I fell hard for those days when the sun is not shining, and dark clouds envelope us, restoring my love for the colour grey.

There is just something magical in the air here, a lingering presence of something hopeful, something happy… that you just cannot touch, but you know it’s there guiding you, watching over you but not physically present with you.

It sees you when you’re sad, when you’re lost, when you’re angry.

You feel its presence when you close your eyes, and let this feeling engulf you, make you feel stronger, happier, hopeful….

I moved to PoCo in March 2023, and I still remember the feeling of instant upliftment as I entered our rental unit. I did not have a job as I came here as an immigrant, leaving my birthplace to start a new life.

Despite going through the most challenging time of my life of finding a job, finding sustenance, I was hit with the epiphany of how lucky I was to be standing here, to be able to call this place my home.

PoCo did not disappoint, and I found solace in its bosom, like a child seeks happiness under their mother’s warm embrace!

In every corner of every street, there was always something that caught my eye and my mind weaved stories. I remember going for a walk all the way to Lafarge Lake in neighbouring Coquitlam on my sad days or just being outside of my house.

PoCo embraced me with open arms and comforted me, telling me how everything was going to be all right. That I am not alone.

Humans have this innate ability to survive! Any place they live, they can make it their home — if they wish.

I see people, day in and day out, either choosing to make PoCo their home, or just living in it for the sake of it. I know I have been lucky to be able to make a living for myself and to be able to call PoCo my home, and I also know that not many people would share my opinion or have a completely different story to share.

But I have come to realize that good things don’t always last, so why not take this opportunity to appreciate something before things change? Because change is the only constant, right?

So here I am, one year later, raising my glass with a heart filled with love, so much love to give back to my city, looking up at the skies and the beauty around me, sending out a whisper only she can hear — Thank you!

Thank you for accepting me, for giving me a space in your bounty and thank you for filling me with so much joy!

I plan to immerse myself in the coming days in your rich culture and history paving pathways to discovery, as I let you guide me through time.

- Monisha Kumar, Port Coquitlam

✍️ Do you have a short story you'd like to share? Submit your fiction or non-fiction piece, up to 2,500 words, to [email protected].

Be sure to include: 

  • your name
  • your city
  • the story title
  • a photo to complement the story
  • your public contact and social media information (optional)