When I have a bag of fresh, delicious cherries in front of me, it’s difficult to stop. And really.. what’s the point? I don’t always count but yesterday I did and I managed to suck back 55. No side effects, though fearful of the dreaded D-word. Needless to say, I no longer will ever count because it matters not. Call me overindulgent if you will. When it comes to cherries, it’s best you step the frick off, kapesh?

That being said, this posting is not really about cherries. It is about something nearer and dearer to my heart, as well, even sweeter than a bucketful of cherries. What this guy is so tickled to talk about is the upcoming annual family camp outside Sundre, AB starting this Sunday.

Camp Harmattan. My mother started bringing us kids there when I was I wanna say ten or so. That means minus a few years of not attending, I’ve been going nearly every August for the past thirty years. And each time was fantastic, some years more memorable than others and such is life, yo. I experienced my first kiss there. Had great times with friends there. Many memorable years volunteering and giving back. Had an ongoing romance that sparked there, kinda.

And to see the generational aspect of it and my three kids looking forward to it every year as well has been even more cementing in that harmattan is in our blood and I assume my grandkids just the same, many, many Mondays from now. And so on, etcetera, as long as the camp continues in existence because that would be a sad day to say the least had it end.

In other postings, I’ve touched on the subject of childhood and the desire to, and not to return to those carefree days. This camp is most definitely a feeling of returning to childhood at its finest, though while still being experienced as an adult. The full circle feel, I’ll call it. The days leading up to it, you’d think our household was confused it was Christmas around the corner. Three more sleeps!

There is much to pack but the best part of being there is the emotional unpack, if you catch my drift. It’s been several years since I have been able to stay the entire 8 days as I need to return to civilization to work Tuesday through Friday, so I’m there the first weekend and the second weekend. And even if it’s only a total or 4 days and 4 sleeps, that sense of unplugging from the world and stepping away from ones normal responsibilities.. that is the greatest aspect of attending. Not to negate the great time spent with family and also in the services morning and night.

And then there’s all that fresh air. With any camping, there’s an awful lot of outdoor lounging going on and it’s beyond refreshing. And the food! Whether around camp, or at the dining hall or all the junk like ice cream and pop, or the fruit.. ahh, the cherries. I hope there’s cherries. Okay, I’ll be proactive on this one cuz I need cherries.

The magic of this time only comes once a year and its beauty lies in that. Nestled in a sacred valley, surrounded by lush green, this is where I yearn to be.

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