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  • Caitlin Burge

Time.

It is now mid August, 2020. Our last post was mid March, just after the reality of the pandemic was setting in. That feels like many more than 5 months ago. While it could also be 4 days ago.


This season, time did its regular thing, where it both stands still and passes without notice. June is the quickest. Everyone is in the rhythm of the day on the block, the smooth transition between shifts. Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Rest. Days of the week do not exist and when the local hardware closed on a Sunday it seems absurd. Planting is stepping outside of our regular systems. Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Rest.


Day dreaming is a foundation tree planting, placing ourselves on the other side of the world, atop a mountain, painting, writing, pursuing any sort of education - free imagination. In a usual year, planters manifest their day dreams effectively. Reinvention, or a return to core values. A discovering of core values. The space that planting leaves for us to swim around these ideas of self, desire and meaning is part of what facilitates growth and manipulates time.



Something happens when there is a finite number of shifts left in the season. By mid July, the end is anticipated. End dates circulate and morph in games of telephone. The natural gentle June rhythms are disrupted with the thought of stopping. Time stretches now. Shifts feel longer. Days of the week will soon again exist and we negotiate with ourselves to find a fulfilling next step. We can't help but reach forward to take a peak, mentally diverging among the possibilities. Does the Theory of Relativity apply here? The faster the mind moves, the slower time? Feels like there's a good case.

The season's edge means leaving this connected place, of old unintentional friends. It also means a break from something truly difficult, a dissolution of tension. There was discussion this season that maybe it was the pandemic, or maybe it is just a factor of the end. Maybe it was a really hard season or maybe this is just how we feel when the end is near no matter what.



Whatever the reason, the last Day 1 proves more difficult than the first. But it passes, like all of the others although slightly slower, each movement with both more and less intention. An awareness that it is close to the last time each of these regular tasks will be done until the next cycle. Bag up number 621 of the season's 652 total . The 365th round of dishes out of the 385. The rituals around each of our tasks well developed, smooth. Our minds pointedly aware that these familiar movements are soon temporarily behind us, savour.



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Sketches by Emma Kennedy & photos by Lea Dumont

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Next Generation Reforestation Ltd.
P.O. Box 2465
Beaverlodge, AB
TOH OCO