I wake to the sound of rain falling on my roof. It’s a loud, heavy sound, deadened by the many layers of wall. Wondering what clothes to put on once I get out of bed, the first thing I think of is a nice, dry pair of rain pants.
The Adventure Trip is over and yet, I am still thinking of wearing rain pants. The part of me that still denies the conclusion of my last TALONS adventure trip wants to take over. To throw me out of bed and tie on hiking boots to conquer the Stawamus Chief. To run straight into mud waist high to rescue a hopeless kayak. To breathe in the sun as it greets the misty clouds we are hiking in. But the other part of me knows better. It knows to just suck it up and face it. My last TALONS trip has come and gone. It’s all over.
It’s amazing how natural it all feels. Being around 60 other humans whom, whether they like it or not, are constantly at the mercy of Mother Nature. We could not outrun the rain that chilled us to the bone, nor could we outpaddle the retreating tide that surrendered our kayaks to the riverbed, nor could we outleap the rockface that rose mightily above our heads. And yet, those moment were when I truly felt alive. As though my breath rose and fell with the ocean waves and my feet climbed with the trees.
Now I stand on my back porch, eating away at my last handful of seeds. They’re still a little crunchy, and still taste a little like home. Home is where our faces are warmed by the campfire and our voices fill the cool night air, where all that matters is right now, and those who matter are sitting around you. It’s a place where I smile at the sweet eyed sun and sing in the swirling rainclouds, where Mother Nature opens her firm yet comforting arms and gently urges us onwards. Home is where I’m with the people of TALONS, a group of lost kids who find themselves in the embraces of one another.
Adventure Trip is over. All that’s left are bittersweet memories that are almost impossible to relive without a stab in my heart. But the moments of happiness are there, and always will be. And as I walk out into the world of scary monsters and empty hearts, I’ll be reminded of the times I spent with TALONS. A whistled tune that reminds me of “Home“. A rain-soaked toque. A garbage bag tied to a stick. A sunflower seed sitting on a table. Things I’ll now never, ever be able to forget because of the past five days we spent in Squamish.
The rain sounds soothing outside my window right now, drumming against the roof in patternless perfection. Carefully, I pick out my last pumpkin seed from my bag of seed crumbs. It’s small and chocolate-covered, so very tempting to eat. A thought crosses my mind to frame it, or at least treasure it until it goes moldy. Instead, I pop it in my mouth and savour its taste. It’s good. Really good. Tastes just like Home.