I looked back to this blog and let out a small sigh for what I hoped would have been, and I apologize for that, and then lean back and SMILE at what was.
It was mid May since my last serious writings, and if I recall correctly, just going into the May Day and Half Way There Faire, where it all changed.
Up until that point I'd been giving my best as the off season coordinator and moving into the Social Media PR role for the committee as the season launched, and having the time of my life, helping where I could, trying to stay on top of the 100's of team events going on around Relay. Not an easy thing to do while trying to taking a college course in Advertising. That winter, I was finishing up the second term or four and they were really pushing the assignments at us. No big deal at my advanced age of 50ish. After 15 years of doing contact design work in automation equipment design, wearing many hats and long hours on end part of the job description. May comes along and I finish the winter term, get lucky helping a friend do a renovation job during the day, Relay all night long and then that wrap up party for the Half Way There Faire.
I often wondered what it be like to bear witness to an idea, one of those defining moment ones. I witnesses a bit of that, that night. Zander was on the air, talking like he does about Relay that he and so many other do, how every Linden matter, that it doesn't matter if you donate to a big team or small team, it all goes to the same place and that all teams should be proud of the work they do, regardless if the raise a million or one Linden. Next thing you know we are rezing team kiosks who haven't reached Bronze level and we begin what was eventually termed "Bronzing" and that we are one team in Relay and so was born the One Team Ideal.
That Ideal fueled a good many souls that night and if I remember over the next 4-6 hours Bronze something like 20 teams. I just remember laughing hysterically behind the keyboards, never in my life have I seen the likes of this. That ideal also lit a fire under a few others and over the remaining of the season Bronzed the remaining teams on the roster. Truly remarkable.
That One Team Ideal changed me as well and gave light to an idea I've had been thinking about for so time. More about that later,....
One or about late June, right after walking the Relay here in my home town, another defining moment comes along in SL. Now as you all know whom do work around RFLofSL, we are a big group, many people we know because they are the front runners and we know them well from all the speeches and interviews they give, other just because they are everywhere giving it their all, and their name is everywhere in IM's and local chat and you just get to know them. Well late one night, one of the later asks me to dance, and we start to talk.
A week later, we are going steady, but Relay weekend two weeks away and the craziest time for my role. Relay comes and goes, and I do have one of the best Relays I have ever experienced, better than my first Relay, one the year before, when on or about 3am, my time, and I saw there was not letting up of the number of people that were out there, and I saw how big, this Relay, really was, and for the next four hours cried buckets of tears, in the dark of my room, by myself. I regained my composure in the waning hours, until the empty table ceremony, and that was that, over the edge Niagara Fall I go. This past season, I knew what was coming and ready for it, and I really got to enjoying it deeply, all of it. AND I had some one new in my life, I could really share that experience with.
I no sooner recover from that incredible, what was a 35 hour caffeine fueled marathon of HOPE, that I discover a new Relay about to take place on another grid, recognize a few names on the committee and just had to check it out. Next thing I know, I'm helping launch a brand new Relay organization in their inaugural Relay season, with a pile of work yet to be done, with a whole new group of people.
September rolls around, college starts back up for the last two terms, were when I though the work load was heavy at the end of last winter's term, they wallop you on day one of this third term. I'm helping launch a new Relay at the same time, all the while developing a very interesting and unique relationship with a beautiful person.
When I look back at that incredible history of Relay in SL, I often dream, what it would have been like that first season, just like I wonder what it would be like to have been at Baker Stadium at the University in Tacoma Washington that one May evening in 1985, I GOT a bit of that experience at our Relay in InWorldz.
Very rich, very rewarding experience. After 8 months of doing a fully time college program or full time employment and doing 8 continuous months of Relay work, walking at 3 different Relays, that moment when I got the chance to share by reading the Empty Table Ceremony of the handful of friends was the finest moment of my Relay year.
And to smother all that in hugs and kisses our love for each other grows into a skeeee one Thanksgiving dinner party being shared with all our friends.
So when I say WoW, I really mean WoW.
Now I find myself having just written my last test and handed in my last assignment for this term today and the last 12 incredible, insane months are almost behind me. I have a few weeks off until the new year and last college term, a small job to help someone lay a new floor in a few rooms and a small website to build over the holidays.
Come the new year, I have the last term of my program that centers around a 5 week work placement in midterm for what is called the Cap Stone Project. I have a wedding to co plans for Feb 23rd and a Relay For Life of Second Life team to build before that season launches and I am certainly doing the committee thing again for IW, but more about those later ...