Though this post is a few days late, it does indeed mark the third anniversary of my return from Iceland which I celebrated this week. Back in May 2009, I could not have predicted the way things would have turned out three years later and I think I would have thought that my present situation was, if not impossible, then perhaps just a little too well-wishing. I write from the third different room in the same house, but next year it will be different.
In fact, many things are different already. A few hours after writing last year’s post, I started dating a sweet lady by the name of Catie and a full year after that, we have now begun the process of moving in together in Orléans. Soon I’ll join her as I am moving out of my Velvet House at the end of July…again. The difference this time is that I’m not the only one, the whole organization is collapsing, moving in opposite directions.
The other difference, is that I’m no longer a student and don’t intend to be one in September for the first time in about 20 years. I just completed my MA in Political Science at Carleton University and am now set to work – and what chance, I was offered a job as Interim Manager of the Forum for Young Canadians, a program I care deeply about. All of those years of volunteering, trying to share the program with those who might appreciate it like I did, now see me on the other side, greeting volunteers who want to share it in their own ways.
I’ve gained a world of other experiences as well, since last April 29. That week I also began writing for the Orléans Star, where I met amazing people, interviewed spectacular athletes and humble volunteers and gained a better understanding of the community I’m beginning to call home again. It lead to writing for the Gloucester Rangers and colour commentating for the Cumberland Grads, opportunities I might never have imagined otherwise.
In a way, this year was also the freest year I’ve ever had. Knowing it was my last in school, I volunteered as much as possible, but also chose to follow my dream and visit the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, which was everything I could ever have imagined. This year, I plan to go to the World Championship’s as part of Team Canada. Through the course of the past year, I’ve met so many great people and participated in so many great events through ballooning. Hal and Barb took me under their wing, or balloon rather, and let me travel with them to Cornwall, St-Jean, Battle Creek, Gatineau and Albuquerque. They never asked for thanks or wondered why I came. I owe them a great deal of gratitude and will be happy to share summer skies with them this year.
I saw a few friends from Iceland this year when I invited them to my house for our traditional New Year’s event. I’m even hoping of returning there a little bit in the fall. But time is passing and the distance between us is growing. Yet, I still feel the country’s odd magic and majesty and somehow hope that it can be reconnected, if only in a dream.