I’m sitting in the airport waiting lounge, with an hour to go before my flight back to Vancouver. I’ll be coming back to Edmonton in August to move into my apartment, get settled, and prepare for school in September. M’s flight took off toward the east coast about an hour ago. Who knows when I’ll see my dear friend again?
As I move from place to place, taking on new adventures in various towns and cities, the overwhelming feeling I have is that I cannot gather all those things and people that are important to me and keep them close. It’s as though I’m collecting flowers by the roadside, and with a gust of wind, the petals disperse, and run as I might, I’ll never gather that armful again. I’m left chasing after something that will never be whole again.
What does it take to not feel this sense of loss?
I do feel blessed to have had the past five months in Fox Creek, with M there to vent to, to travel with, to bounce ideas off of. I was in the privileged position of having a good friend pick me up at the airport, drive me to that new small town, show me the school and the town. M had forged her way there first, and my adjustment to my new surroundings was made infinitely easier because she was there. I now have more experience under my belt, more varied subjects and students that I’ve taught, more challenges overcome, frustrations conquered.
I received news from Inuvik that a young boy had drowned in the east channel of the Mackenzie River over the weekend. It happens without fail every year or so, a bright future extinguished because of a moment of poor judgment. Although I had never taught him, he was one of the lively characters in town, and he and his mischievous grin were impossible to miss when I sauntered out on the main road. I remember how he was following me around one day after school with his incessant questions. He was a child who, despite his apparent peskiness, would have grown up to be someone wise, a person whom others could trust. There was a kindness and a goodness that shone through, something that maturity would have brought out clear and bright had he been allowed to stay on this earth and flourish.