Saturday, 28 June 2014

Treeplanting: The End of an Era

It's been a love/hate relationship since we began 7 years ago. One year, I woke up one day and hated it from the start. That trend continued for well over 100 days. Some days I would just scream, or cry, always cursing that first time I decided to enter into it. Then one day, I decided not to be like that. I decided, one day this year, that I should, would, and want to embrace it, and love it, exactly for what it is and always will be to me. Most days now, I come home having enjoyed my day, or at least most of it. And if I want to punch it, I try to remember why I loved it in the first place.

Now, I am not talking about a physical relationship, in the sense two people in love or lust or infatuation. I am talking about my relationship with TREEPLANTING.

And to be honest I am torn. This will be my last "big year" as I like to call it. My last year with well over 100 days, hell, I'm almost at 90 right now! You see, this fall, I am going back to school, and there is this deep feeling of nostalgia, of a loss I cannot explain. And even though it is not over completely, this relationship of mine, I am melancholic. I feel like it will not be the same from now on. I think mostly because I won't truly be "in it" like so many of the people I love. In the trenches of hellish blocks, climbing through, over, and under giant logs, and planting for my most favorite company, Sitka, a company that feels to me more like a family than any other.

The people I have met throughout the years, thanking them for teaching me, helping shape me, and accepting me exactly for who I am would never be enough. You, I hope know who you are, you loves of mine. You are some of the most compassionate, passionate, intelligent, interesting, accepting, open minded, trustworthy people I have ever met, and maybe will ever meet. There is a certain honesty about you that is hard to find in other circles. I have never felt so at home, so at ease with who I am when I am with you. Thank you. Thank you for teaching me all of your eccentricities and quirks, knowledge and insight, sharing with me your jokes and laughter, but most of all, thank you for being you, and allowing me to be me. I could rattle off so many names that come to my mind, and situations that stick out, but this post may not ever end.

At times, I have been getting choked up over this subject. To me, it is almost like an end to a whole era. I won't be gallivanting around for at least 8 months out of the year, exploring places (in a weird way) that only a handful of others have ever explored. Viewing the open ocean from a heli-pad that maybe, just maybe 10 other people have been to, or seeing Mount Loki from a mountain across the lake from a spot only I have decided to stop and appreciate the beauty of it, or on one crazy clean-up day, looking out over the Broken Islands from the very top of a mountain, these things will never be the same now. I have been so incredibly fortunate in my time treeplanting.

Thank you to my family, who has always (maybe not understanding why) supported me in everything I have done. Mom and Dad, thank you for taking pride in what I do, and loving me through my ups and downs, slip-ups, and fuck-ups (excuse the curse). Thank you for taking a genuine interest in the way treeplanting is. Thank you for fixing shovels. But most of all, thank you, to my family for always being each other's rock and support. Without you 5, I would be lost in this world. I love you.

And thank you Thomas. You, I met by chance, in a treeplanting camp, when my girlfriends and I decided come and party. You, who happened to be going 20 minutes from where I grew up, for summer plant. You, who I felt so shy around, and yet so comfortable around from the start. You are my other half, my love of loves, my best friend, partner in crime, counselor, and my rock. You have taught me to be a better planter, and work things in a better way, but really those things carry into our lives. Thank you Thomas, for having passion in what you do, even though some days you seem to despise it, and taking pride in it, because I wouldn't be the planter I am without the pride that you instilled in me. How fortunate is it that we met by chance, and stayed together through some of the toughest times apart? How fortunate is it that we have each other for entertainment when, like now, we are looking for more work, and support when we feel down? Thank you, my handsome, thank you.

The further I dig, the more melancholic I become when I think of leaving all of this, and all of you. But, I know in the future, you will be there, for better or worse, treeplanting will be there for me, and I for it. And, the future is bright with different possibilities, and a different way of learning, for I am heading back to school. Strapping on my backpack, instead of my treeplanting bags, and picking up my pencil, instead of my shovel, I will wander into the unknown of being a grown woman in university.

Thank you again. I love all of you. And, I love you treeplanting.

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