Musings from the ever-changing, ever-amazing and occasionally ever-baffling Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Don't Want to Miss a Thing

When I was a child I fought sleep. My mother would tell you I would protest until the very last moment, fighting to stay awake until my little body finally gave in and succumbed to slumber. And when I awoke in the morning my first question always was: “Did anything happen while I was asleep?” No event was too big or too small to escape my notice, and I didn’t want to miss a thing.

Two years ago today I walked into a steel and glass and concrete building I had walked into hundreds of times before in my years in this community, but this time it was different. Two years ago I pinned a badge onto my blazer and I became part of MI Team, the group of employees that operated MacDonald Island Park and that has become ONE Team and the Regional Recreation Corporation of Wood Buffalo.  

I had no idea how proud I would become of my colleagues, how much I would come to respect and revere our team and how many moments would bring me to tears, simply overwhelmed by my emotions.
I had been part of the community engagement process to develop Shell Place, but two years ago I went from being an observer to being on the inside. I was there as a community citizen when ground was broken for the project – and I was there as part of the team when the first piece of steel was laid.

For the past two years I have been part of something that I once thought was pure magic and mystery, and that in that time has become no less magical but even closer to me than I ever thought possible. I was there for announcements of sports events, like bringing the CFL to Wood Buffalo. I was there for community celebrations, I was there to see concerts and for art gallery receptions, there for moments big and small, every moment savoured and felt and remembered. You see for last two years I didn’t want to miss a thing.

And today, two years after that tenuous, nerve-wracking first day, I put on my name badge once again and I walked down those grand stairs in the main concourse. I had the honour – and it is an honour, one I feel keenly and deeply – to MC a press conference announcing a concert at Shell Place this summer that I think will change history in this region.
Over the last two years I have not missed a thing. There are still times now in my life when, like the child I once was, I fight sleep, protest against that deep curtain. You see I don’t want to close my eyes. I don’t want to miss a thing.

Nexen CNOOC Stage
Shell Place
July 19

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