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Feeling the weight of my words

Feeling the weight of my words Feeling the weight of my words

I think it’s safe to say we’ve all heard the old expression “better late than never” right? It’s a cliche, but that doesn’t make it any less true, especially in the case of Colby High’s Class of 2020.

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend Colby High’s 133rd commencement ceremony last Thursday, and I cannot tell you how happy I was to see so many familiar faces. It was a joyous time and a proud moment for both students and parents.

Social distancing was observed, with only four guests per graduate, and I saw masks here and there in the stands. Lucky for me, I was able to take a place in the press box and use my zoom lens to get plenty of good pictures of students in the sun.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Colby’s gymnasium, but the open air, ample sunlight and a light breeze in the shade was far preferable, in my humble opinion, than being packed like sardines in a small, confined space.

I can’t help but wonder if this will be the new normal? Will future graduations always be held outside from here on out? Hopefully it takes place in May and not July as it was a blazing 90 degrees in the sun. I really felt for the graduates, wearing their long green robes, trying in vain to stay cool.

But the smiles they had for friends and family when they crossed the stage and took their diplomas was far more dazzling than the rays of the sun. I can understand why — there was a great deal of uncertainty hanging over this event. Many wondered if it would happen.

I can only hope Abbotsford gets to experience the same joy and pride in a few weeks time when their ceremony takes place, also outside and on a football field.

As I write this column, I can’t help but be reminded of the historical significance behind all this. No matter what happens down the road, people will remember 2020. They’ll remember it as the time the world stood still, and for me personally, each article and picture I take feels more profound and heavy. For sure, I feel the sense of history on my shoulders as I type this column.

I am almost certain that years from now someone will do a research paper for a class in Colby High or Abbotsford High on the year 2020, and the time of COVID-19. They’ll read my words and see my pictures. I hope I’ve captured special things. I hope I did right by the stories and words I have written.

I hope people see the resilience of humanity. I hope whatever far flung person in the year 2100 that reads this column sees that even in the face of a global pandemic and certainty we were able to laugh and smile and find joy and comfort in one another’s socially distant company.

I want that to be the biggest lesson to whatever soul should read this, 100 or 200 years from now. We lived in strange times, faced large hurdles, but we lived and loved and struggled and prospered.