Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Onward & Upward!

Class of 2013 Field Day

My ten-month IslandWood experience has officially come to a close.

Throughout the past week, people have repeatedly asked me what my highlights have been and what this experience has meant to me. In those moments, my mind resembles a freshly erased chalkboard. Each particle of chalk embedded in the eraser, floating through the air, or clinging to the board is a memory or an experience. Some of these particles I will never forget, others will be carried away and forgotten.

What surprised me the most in these moments of reflection was my refusal to process an experience that was still taking place. Deep down I knew and I now know that my IslandWood experience is over, even if it doesn’t feel that way. Yet, I know that I will have the support of these people for a lifetime.

As my post-program reflection period begins, I find myself facing an enormous challenge. How do I communicate my gratitude to these people, to this place, and to my community with my blank board of a mind?

Honestly, I don’t know that I can. I don’t think I will ever be able to communicate just how much this experience and these people have meant to me. What I can do is to take the lessons, skills, challenges, memories, and experiences I have had and have developed and use them to spread this community far beyond the borders of IslandWood.

This feeling of, “how can I give back?” is what this experience has meant to me. It is on repeat in my head and speaks to just how incredible this experience has been. My ten-month IslandWood experience has officially come to a close and all I want to do is to give back.

I hope that you have enjoyed reading each of my entries. Sharing my experience and this place with you through written word has meant the world to me.