It has been an interesting summer in many ways. It has certainly been different. The wildfires that forced the evacuation of Fort McMurray also forced many changes in plans for summer vacations and the like. Many life events such as weddings and high school graduations were either put on hold or postponed for a later date. It was heart-warming to watch young people dressed in their finery going through their own rite of passage last weekend. (One of the high school graduations was held in the complex where I work, and two young coworkers were graduates.)

Their graduation will definitely be a story for them to tell future generations. No doubt having to wait to celebrate with their peers added solidarity to the event and made it much more meaningful than it may otherwise have been.  It was pure joy to see their smiling faces and hear their excited laughter.  Many of us who were working that day ducked out to catch a glimpse of the festivities.

It was heartening to witness the exuberance and spirit of these young people. Despite the challenges of the past few months life goes on, and perhaps the escape from the wildfire, the challenges of the evacuation, and the return to the city has made for deeper commitments to our friendships and to our community.  After enduring months of stress and questioning an unknown future it was good to witness joy and laughter and to raise a glass to the future. Life is good, even if it is challenging at times.


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