Friday, December 3, 2010

Reverb 3 - Remembering How to Live

December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors). (Author: Ali Edwards)

This one was easy. I smiled when I opened up my prompt last night, thinking of this moment.

This summer, I took the little guy on a road trip.  His father had just walked out on us. I was four months pregnant, hurting, angry, and scared for our future. It was some kind of serendipity that brought me a bunch of time off work at about the same time a couple of very dear friends invited me to Starbelly Jam, a music festival in Crawford Bay, BC.

This picture was taken the day that we arrived. Chaos was hot, tired, and cranky after two days on the road, and I wanted to thank him for being such an awesome road trip companion by taking him for a swim.

We met up with my friends on the road to the beach. It was quite an experience, seeing them in their truck, with their son strapped into the back, and me following in the first car I've ever owned, with my own little guy in tow.

You see, twelve or so years ago, we had been together in almost exactly the same spot, on the same road. We had met up for a weekend in the Kootenays then, too - my friends, who were still just dating at the time, in his '84 Charger, and myself (with yet another ill-advised boyfriend), who had hitchiked in from Jasper. We had no money and certainly no kids, but we did have a lot of beer.

My friends ended up getting engaged that weekend and were married a couple of years later. We live in different provinces now, and we've shared our ups and downs, but we've weathered the passing of time as friends do.

So, when we reached our destination that day and got out of our respective vehicles to greet one another, it was a very special moment. I had met their little guy once before, and they had never met Chaos. I remember the crunch of gravel beneath our feet as we hugged and introduced our children to one another. I remember the scent of cedar baking in the hot summer sun and the incredible view of the Kootenays that opened up to us  as we made our way out of the woods and down to the pebble beach.

We spread blankets on the rocks and broke out water bottles, snack containers, sunscreen; all the accoutrements of parenting young children. I remember thinking how amazing it was that we were here, together, at this time in our lives, and how lucky I was to have had these people in my life for the past fifteen years.

My girlfriend's mother had come with them for the weekend, and she took Chaos while I swam in the lake. I remember the gratitude I felt towards her for allowing me that. It had been a long time since I had really swum anywhere, as opposed to simply splashing around with a squirmy water baby in my arms. It was wonderful.

We sat long into the late afternoon sun on that beautiful pebble beach on Kootenay Lake, eating oranges and blueberries, chasing our children in and out of the water, talking as old friends do. At some point we rounded up the kids and wrestled them into dry clothing, packed up our blankets and snacks and hats and bags, and headed to where we would be staying that night.

As we drove out into the soft evening light, I opened my windows wide and felt the breeze on my face, smelled the fresh mountain air. It had been an amazing afternoon for me. I had come to this place of healing brokenhearted, lonely, and found my friends again. I looked ahead at the tail lights of their truck, and behind me at my precious son sleeping in his carseat, and was happy, surrounded by love.

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