Thursday, August 7, 2008

Creeker crash at Chick's

I was so happy with my last post that I've had a bit of writer's block for the past week. It's like I set a bar for myself and now can't think of anything that would match it! But now I've relented to the fact that a blog strike is benefiting no one and I have to get over myself. Back to mediocre writing it is.


Last night I hosted a party dubbed "Creeker crash at Chicks" for some very special people. Back in my dubious teenage years, I spent two semesters of High School enrolled in an outdoor education program called The Bronte Creek Project. This amazing program takes a select few teenagers from various high schools and quietly transforms their lives. As we learned and then shared the Earthkeepers curriculum with elementary children, we learned how to work as a community. We cooked together, cleaned together, slept together, went on week long adventure camping trips and gradually became a cohesive functional group (no small task for a bunch of hot-headed, hormone-driven kids). This unique learning experience gave me a new respect for the planet we live on and left me with some pretty special friendships.

They were my Creeker Crew, and last night, some of that crew gathered at Big Blue for dinner. Seeing these girls again (some with gorgeous families in tow) was such a blast from the past. It felt as if no time had passed since I saw them last and we slipped into easy conversation as the children laughed and monkeyed around in the yard. These friends have all grown and all have amazing life stories that fill the gap that lies between our visits. What struck me was the odd feeling that they had changed so much and yet fundamentally, they were the same people I had taught with 15 years ago.

I always find it funny when you get together with people from your past. It's like going to a reunion. Most people are quick to posture and boast about their achievements, wealth and accolades. They don their most expensive clothes, squish themselves into girdles and carefully apply makeup to cover any signs of aging. What's refreshing about my creeker crowd is that there's none of this false face attitude. When everyone showed up, I was wearing my big ugly gardening hat and some old shorts with Hayden boogeys smeared across the thigh. Never once did I worry about how my appearance would jade their perceptions of who I am now. This crowd is more likely to examine your eyes and soul than your bling.

As we told stories of our highs and lows, our triumphs and troubles, the years just melted away. I was transported back to those nights around the fireplace in the main cabin when the whole world was just stretched before us. Strangely, as we waved everyone off at the end of the night, I felt full of the same feelings of optimism and harmony that coloured my world back at BCP. I think maybe a little bit of Earthkeeper magic had been conjured up last night. Em would be proud!


The W.O.W. factor said...

...and there is nothing "less" about this post!! I LOVE your writings!
What a great experience you had 15 yrs ago! That is one that so many people in todays world could benefit from!
And I'm with you on not fretting about the changes in ourselves or others as time goes by. I dress, speak & do as to the person I am.
I'm saving this...."..likely to examine your eyes and soul than your bling." Wonderfully put Wordmama!

Anonymous said...

... I love everything about bronte creek, its so life changing .. i was a creeker Fall '07 and it was absolutely amazing. This is extremely well written and captures the amazingness of it all