The cabin is dark. Beeps and bings fill the room.
There are some muffled groans. Everyone is sleeping.
I am once again rummaging through all my crap. I’m having another hypo. I need a juice box. And a granola bar. And my glucometer.
Where the hell is everything!?!?!
It is early. Really early. Another 5:30 am hypo. Fuck me. It’s a truly craptacular way to start the day. There is no campfire yoga today, but I’m an early riser so there’s really no point in attempting to resume slumber.
I treat my hypo, then once I scan a normal reading on my Libre, and confirm by a double-check on ye ole glucometer, I dress and head to the lake. I know there will be some coffee in the kitchen of the Main Lodge and that sounds like a great way to start the day.
When I first arrived at the Lodge, it was still on the edge of dark. There was no colour to the sky. Yet. So I popped in to the Lodge where I found a camper sleeping by the fire and the kitchen staff hard a work. I grab a small cup of coffee from the only (partially) full carafe, then find an outlet for my phone charge and plug-in. After the first sip I realize the coffee is from the night before. Barely warm. A tad bitter. I check my phone, and see that it has charged “enough,” then head back outside. Sans hot coffee.
I take the above picture. By now the sun is rising. As are a few more campers. There’s going to be a Polar Bear Dip in about an hour. Not my cup of tea, but I do hope to have a hot coffee by then. And plan to stand lakeside offering my support.
My mind is absolutely reeling. I can hardly believe all that has transpired over the weekend. And I can’t help but feel proud of myself.
For some this adventure would be a no-brainer. Easy. Pack up and go, without question.
For me, it was far more complicated. It was nearly 6 months of anxiety. OMG, what have a done!?!? I can’t go. I need to go. I can’t go. But I should go. Building, and building. Only to have it all come crashing down and leave me panic-stricken hours before leaving. What the fuck am I doing? I should go! I can’t go! OMG. OMG. OMG.
There are others who wouldn’t go. And that is cool, if that is what works for them.
But I never would have forgiven myself. Especially standing here. In this moment. And sure, hindsight is great. It is easier to look back than it is to envision the road ahead. That’s what makes going forward so scary.
I wonder if there’s coffee yet? I don’t want to miss anything out here…
I quickly run in, grab a hot coffee, exchange some friendly good mornings with a few other campers, and return lake side. Once there a small flock of Canada Geese fly in and land. It’s a beautiful sight and a meaningful metaphor for the impending Polar Bear Dip. These geese are known for the consummate teamwork. It is so fitting that they would make an appearance at this moment.
And it made for some lovely pictures!
Those geese are totally a team. But also individuals. Am I the goose WAY over to the right!?!? Probably. And I’m okay with that. I’m still proud of myself for joining a team. Which is how this all feels now. It truly feels as though I have joined a team of super cool peeps. I’m grateful they have taken me on, and thankful the exclusivity I assumed they would maintain didn’t even exist.
My fellow campers brave enough to brave the waters make their way to the lake. Laughing all the way. There are a few more supporters lake side with me now. Most with something warm in hand. While the sun is making its way up it is fresh this morning. And I can only assume the water is too, by the few yelps and squeals coming from the dock.
We all mosey in to the Lodge. Breakfast soon. I warm up by the fire and chat with some fellow campers. Here I make plans with a new friend to reconnect once we return home. The Lodge is filling up campers. Chatter and laughter are erupting in all corners. Ah, those lovely comforting sounds. And breakfast soon rolls out…
We all gather round the tables. Beeps and bings. Table tops scattered with devices. It is a beautiful sight, and one I will miss. Our time together isn’t quite over, but it at the same time doesn’t feel like enough. At least for me. I miss my family terribly. But have been so overwhelmed by these people, that I simply want more.
More sharing. More laughing. More empathy.
A few announcements, uncovers some early departures. So we all hustle out to the steps of the Main Lodge and squish together. I’m on my knees, wedged between two lovely ladies I had the pleasure of befriending over the weekend. We continue to share laughs as we all do our best to sit tight for THE perfect shot. SNAP! We get one.
They are offering some discussion time and lunch. I decide to get myself organized. And make several trips back to my car. Reminiscent of my arrival. I say a few goodbyes to those driving out, then pop in to the Main Lodge one last time. I have to pee. I manage a couple more goodbyes, then make my way to my car.
I make that walk alone physically but no longer alone Diabetically…
In the very least, I met a few people. A few people like me.
In reality, I have made some friends. Possibly for life.