I came back to Winnipeg on December 13th, and the very night, fell into a feverish yearning for my high school crush. In the quiet, under two thick blankets and embracing my stuffed dog, I gazed at the streetlamp and black sky and snow-covered road, and felt my past surface as a dark ember. In the weeks prior I had been worried that memories of the summer, afternoons of unspeakable depression, would haunt me stubbornly, but the cold and the changed trees allowed no other season to exist in my consciousness. …

If you are from the world of climate activism, the word “sustainability” might make you recoil, conjuring images of corporate green-washing and glorified triple bottom lines, zero waste movements that tackle the products but not the system. If you are from the world of business and zero-waste lifestyles, the word “sustainability” might entice you to nod in agreement, summarizing a guiding or secondary principle that shapes your goal to cause less harm to the environment. …

An unfinished drawing of a street corner. Coloured yellow are houses and buildings of different sizes.
An unfinished drawing of a street corner. Coloured yellow are houses and buildings of different sizes.
Unfinished coloured-pencil drawing of a painting by Van Gogh, my mom’s favourite artist.

Being born into any family implies being born in matters of history and practices that will unconsciously and explicitly shape who you are as a person—we are not born in a vacuum, and depending on who you ask, that is either a benefit or a curse. With many young people ushered back home during this pandemic, some of us have likely had ample time to perform undramatic and dramatic introspections of how familial-cultural realities have influenced our growth and personality. I am no exception. …

Tomorrow after tomorrow
(and phantom moss under my palm)
I will move with silence
between trees still grey-brown.

There is a river near where I live, and it is called the Seine River. It is not in Paris, it is in Winnipeg. Surrounding the river is the largest remaining riverbank forest in the city and it is called “Bois des esprits” — Forest of the spirits. You can spot turtles, birds, and owls in their real form and also carved into the wood of trees by the edge of gravel trails. The deer are everywhere and sometimes if you hold…

Loving you, alone
I fall to my knees
and watch summer begin,
the green new trees,
once trembling and barren,
announcing new life.

This past February, during the tense winter of second semester, I found myself at the airport on a blizzard evening, boarding a plane to Las Vegas. There, I would join my parents, and we would briefly sleep in a smoke-chocked resort before setting off, by car, to the ultimate destination: Deep Springs College. Deep Springs College, for those who might not know (likely most of you), is a two-year liberal arts college tucked in the Deep Springs Valley of California, by the Nevada border. Founded by L.L. Nunn in 1917, the college serves to “prepare young people for a life…

What I didn’t know,
became all that I knew,
so what can I say of what I know now,
except that it is beautiful and new.

How easy it is to attain a Caribbean dream. As I stepped out of the plane and walked through the open-air design of the Punta Cana airport, I heard birds chirping and saw a cat curled on a seat. Perhaps it was impossible not to dream; the heat’s philosophy invited you with an unconditional hand. This hand was soft to me, and I could only count that as luck.

This morning, the rooster wakes me and the sun rises behind clouds. By the beach, the workers are raking into large mounds the seaweed washed onto shore overnight. They are thrown…

The fact that you, are you, is undeniably certain. But the chance that you, are you, seems so amazing that it is both unfathomable and unquestioned. Growing up in different regions of North America with only my parents and then my brother as a constant presence of family, I saw the concept of family as a small isolated bubble that I was undoubtedly apart of. I thought of my parents’ union as simply an existence, and never as partially a product of coincidence. …

Grace Ma

Would do a lot for the Sun, poetry and wool socks.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store