Writing the Self 2: The Great Up North

Walking through the wet dew grass surrounded by tall pines, taking in cool fresh air that overwhelms me.  I can tell the day is young as I gaze towards the beautiful untouched lake where the sun is just ever so much embracing its welcome to the day. As I look upon my fellow campers making their breakfast or washing there face with the cool fresh water of the lake I think to myself there is no place in the world that is more beautiful then this right now. The birds singing around us fills the silence of the still half asleep campers trying to eat there half cooked oatmeal. I look around at a group of people who have been sleeping on rocks while walking this 40km path for the last couple days and I don’t see one sad face as this beautiful peace of nature we are surrounded in makes everyone thankful that we can call this apart of our home. Most of us take for granted how beautiful Saskatchewan really is, some of these lakes I am surrounded by make me feel as if I was in British Columbia which some say is the prettiest place in Canada. I could stand here and watch the sun rise against the water all morning if I could but I should really get back to helping my group with the cleaning. The cleaning up of breakfast has begun which gets us one step closer to getting back on the path to our next campsite for the night and on step closer to reaching the end destination which is the amazing Grey Owls Cabin. Our lake front site is all cleaned up, tent is all packed up and strapped to my backpack as well as our packed up food making our no trace left behind looking good. We meet back up with the group and start the day of hiking not before looking back on last time at this perfect peace of nature we called home for the night. All of a sudden I look at my group member and remember that we forgot to grab some water for the day, we all rush back down to the lake while pulling out our water filters. We quickly pump some clean fresh water into our bottles trying not to let our teacher see our little mess up of the morning. As we join back up with the group no one seems to notice our short absence as we make it back in time for final roll call before starting our day off.

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Writing The Self 1: The Whistle Blows

The whistle blows, the cold breeze brushes against my face. Scanning the sideline, I try to locate the coach signalling in the play call. He touches his right shoulder, left hip, and face. Got it… play 236. As I jog back to the huddle I read over the play, trying to think of my first and second option. Once I join my team in the huddle, the warmth surrounds me. The sense of brotherhood welcomes you but is soon taken over by the urgency of the clock. As I scan the faces of the guys I’m about to head into battle with, I hear the referee yell, “ten seconds!” We break the huddle. Once we are at the line of scrimmage I examine the defense, quickly trying to predict their next move. The ball is snapped and the rush of excitement fills the stadium. The sound of shoulder pads colliding overpowers the crowd, fake left and throw right. The next two seconds seems to take an hour when bang, the receiver is hit, remaining in bounds, and the clock is still running. The coach is yelling from the sidelines “FIRE, FIRE, FIRE “. Everyone runs to the line of scrimmage as if our lives depended on it. At this point the numbers are getting yelled towards me “365”!  I turn and yell to the left “GUN WEAK 78 64”, then turn right and yell “GUN WEAK 78 64”.

Once everything is set, a calming mood fills the air. I feel a sense of ease wash over me, as if I’ve been here before, and everything I’m doing is easy and makes sense to me; it’s routine. I’m relaxed and able to enjoy the moment around me, as I’ll never know when I’ll be back in this place where I feel utmost comfort. Where you’re surrounded by individuals who trust and believe in you. Brothers who have your back knowing that you have theirs.

The smack of pads snaps me back into reality. I drop back to scan the defense noticing they are sending one more guy then we can block. I roll right and throw it deep down field. Praying we are going to win this game as the clock has run out leaving everything depending on this one play, this one catch that will change the lives of all these players on this field. The rush of energy from the crowd fills my heart with excitement as I see the referee’s arms fly into the air signalling we scored the touchdown, the thrill of excitement (this sounds weird) takes over my body as I can not hold it in any longer. Our team storms the field to join in on the celebrations, nothing can take away from this moment as it feels if nothing else in your life matters. When you are with your teammates who you have shared countless hours on the field together trying to get to where you are now, there is nothing that can wreck the sensation of excitement you share.

The football itself brings comfort into my body, as it is something where I can get away from my everyday life and really feel at home with the people around me who feel the same way.