This Labor Day weekend I spent Friday, Saturday, and the morning of Sunday at FetFest. What I experienced during this event was my heart riped in two.
My time spent at camp was colored just as much by the people not there as the people who were.
As some folks know, a local rigger passed away recently. I did not know them, but I wish I had.
On the Friday night of FetFest, the Rope Village held a remembrance for our parted friend. I arrived about fifteen minutes late, having not properly budgeted my time.
Standing against a wall by the entrance to the Barn, I listened as people recounted their stories of this beautiful individual.
This person was another rope switch, with a genuine heart and love for others. They were a trickster and a true friend. Their favorite color was pink.
Hanging on one side of the Barn was a strand of pink rope, a shiminawa, in which people placed thoughts and messages about their passed friend.
As I stood and listened, a friend spotted me and gestured for me to join them. I quietly made my way over and sat with them. We held hands and leaned our heads together, each us of taking care of the other.
As so many people spoke about this amazing person, all I could think was such a loss it was for them to be gone.
When I read their profile, I saw a number of interests that intersected with mine. There was of course rope, but this person was also a switch. My heart sank at the realization of never occurred conversations, never dreamt up ties, never recounted tales, never experienced moments.
But I also realized having them at all, if only for their brief time on this earth, was a gift.
With so many people in that Barn, so many friends who cared, so many individuals this person touched, I saw loss but I also saw friendship. I saw tears and smiles. I saw hurt and appreciation.
I saw a person remembered who had spread love to those around them. Can anyone ask for more in this life?
The shiminawa at the remembrance is to travel to many events throughout this coming year. More friends will speak about them. More people will recount stories and fond memories. Though our community lost a member, they will still be remembered.
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