Strathcona reflections continue with the grade 9s, who wrote descriptively tales of both trials and jubilation:
Paddle, paddle, paddle! The rain never stopped and our paddles never dropped. We wouldn’t give up. No matter how much our arms ached, we kept going. We slowly made our way through the never-ending lake. All that could be heard was the swishing of the water against our paddles and the panting of our breaths. We all just wanted to accomplish what we were doing. Stopping wasn’t an option anymore. – Myrah K.
My heartbeat accelerated as I sat in my canoe, paddling as fast and as hard as I could. Oblivious to the wind and rain, I was determined to reach the end of the river, where an enormous waterfall awaited. I gave a small shriek of joy as I rounded a corner and spotted the cliff on the horizon. “Come on!” I yelled to the world as the steep decline came closer and closer. I gripped my paddle so hard my fingers turned white, gritting my teeth and staring straight ahead. I reached the drop and immediately I was falling, falling, falling. When I finally bounced back onto the river, I grinned like crazy and turned to my instructor, expecting him to look upon me in awe. Yet, for some unfathomable reason, he simply rolled his eyes and followed me off the two-foot cliff. – Olivia L.
Everything was still. There was only the sound of lake water swishing in the open space while supporting the weight of the canoes. We all stopped paddling in amazement and directed our heads up to the sky. How could something that we see every day of our lives be so beautiful? White fluffy clouds drifted in the sky, floating so peacefully. Nothing could ruin this moment in time. Little patches of blue sky shone above our heads, in between those marshmallow-like clouds. Everything was so still it was like time had frozen itself. The hope in our hearts made time freeze as we saw something so simple yet so extravagant. We all stared, eyes glued to the small sight that fell upon our eyes. What was there to say about a little patch in the sky? Well, it brought us hope—hope that we will be able to last through the day without rain. – Emma C.
As I sat in my canoe, I looked up at the confused sky. It began to rain a little and I started to see the colour from the southeast side of the clearing sky. It was a magical strip of light that was getting brighter and brighter by the minute. When the first was fully formed, I started to see a second glimpse of light underneath the first. It grew as bright and strong as the original. When the second was fully developed, the third stroke of light hit my grayish green eyes. Before long, it was all three together blinded by their own brightness that seemed like the sun. This jaw-dropping triple rainbow gave me hope on a cloudy day and kept me going on this long energy-draining adventure! – Olivia R-F.
Alone. As my feet mindlessly trekked past each other, loneliness was the only thing I was certain of. Following a trail that seemed to have no end, with the heftiness of my group’s meals weighing my back down, I was simply left with fear and a sore body. I soaked in the beauty of the woods that bounded me, while wondering how a feat so captivating could make my lost soul timorous. Finally catching my breath, I trudged on hoping to meet a friend along the way, although with the time that had passed, I was rapidly losing faith that I would ever see a familiar face again. The satisfying crunch of the leaves underneath my feet guided my sluggish body through the trail, and the quiet trickle of rainwater brought my mind back to the realization that I needed water. Just as I was about to give up and try to find my way to the beginning of the labyrinthine forest, I heard music to my ears: my instructor’s voice. Assuring me that I was traveling in the right direction, I marched on with a newfound strength leading me to the end of the daunting two kilometres. – Serena S.