It’s been just over a month since I wrote my first cheque for $450 made out to the “Atangard Community Project”. I am now in Prince George planting trees for the next 3 months, with the taste of community still lingering, enticing me to focus on the post-season main course: 9 more months living in downtown Abby.

I felt like my leaving home was a celebration of past reflection and anticipation. Around this time, several of us are going our separate ways – many are leaving to traipse around the world, others are seasonal workers, and those who are staying will have a unique experience of there own – though what we all share is our excitement for the last month of summer, when we all return to share our dog days.

My month long community hors d’oeuvre has been a unique and enlivening experience. It has been warm, loving, and best of all [in my opinion] it has been shared. That being said, it hasn’t all been fairytales and farts. Living with so many people, so many personalities; it has been occasionally quite a balancing act trying to acquaint myself with everyone’s habits, values, and humour. Fortunately, living in community has proven to be rather forgiving, which is great for someone like myself who can be frustratingly stubborn in adapting to others.

Of course, a community in a city the size of Abbotsford doesn’t consist of only 20 or so people. It is worth mentioning how friends and family have been involved and how they have blessed the people who live here. On behalf of my own experience, I appreciate my friends and family who have chosen to spend time with me and my housemates. All of you who invest in our lives here are the icing on the community cake, and are deeply loved. I can’t wait to return home and spend time with all of you!

However, before this happens I have a summer in the bush to get through. Over the past few days I have been reunited with dear friends who I have known every summer for over a half a decade. I am looking forward to my summer friends, my planting camp: my seasonal community mistress. As I fondly think of all of my ‘roommates’ soon to be scattered all over the world, and those who are staying home holding down the fort, I continue to live life in reflection and anticipation of the community I currently find myself in, as well as the one that I will return to.


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