I recently returned from a 3 day rendezvous with 8 longtime friends. For 28 years, we have been gathering in the East Kootenays once a year to celebrate our friendship, catch up with each others lives, engage in divergent political, cultural and social debate, laugh and golf. The number of attendees over the years has ranged from 8 to 16. Our common bond is having been employed by the Calgary YMCA. Over the years there have been a couple of exceptions, but overall this is the root common denominator.
I have known all of these guys for a period of time ranging from 30 to 45 years. Knowing them, and continuing to know them, has cultivated and sustained both my resilience and my emotional intelligence. We have shared a multitude of life experiences and depending on our ages and stages, we have been able to articulate with varying degrees of clarity and depth what our current realities have been and where our dreams lay. There have been joinings and partings in our lives, births and deaths, successes and failures. Our lives have ebbed and flowed as lives do. We know a lot about each other and continue to learn more. We contribute to each others lifelong learning. I feel most fortunate indeed to have the continued pleasure to gather with these true life characters from my time on the planet. Each of the relationships and the sum total of our relationships is nurturing and empowering.
My heartfelt thanks to all of you and that includes those who could not attend this year. You were missed, but you know you were included in the laughter and the reminiscences. I already look forward to seeing you all next year.