Una Vez Mas

posted by: Julia Bradshaw

After taking a run on a path in the woods in South Providence, I unfortunately acquired an itchy and long-lasting case of poison ivy that lasted through Hartford and Bridgeport, and was cured by plaintain weed (thank you to Stella at the Voluntown Peace Trust for teaching us its healing powers!) I went through the entire tube of calamine lotion and was determined to never get poison ivy ever again in my life.

On our trip from Don and Jan Hoyle’s home in Mansfield Center to Ernie and Judy Edwards’ home in Framingham (thank you to both lovely couples), we happened to do some off-road biking on a trail that was clearly not okay for road bikes. Jackie and I, with our heavy-duty and heavy mountain bikes, continued on and I laughingly commented, “We’re all going to get poison ivy on our ankles.” Sitting down to dinner that night, I knew it. I had poison ivy una vez mas.

I often wonder how I can realistically stay in close contact with the people I have met through this summers’ travels and I sincerely hope that the relationships that I formed over a matter of days don’t fizzle into a memory solidified by photos of the work we engaged in. If I lived in one town and did this work, I’m quite certain that I would develop even closer relationships with all the wonderful people we met. However, doing this for 6 weeks in different towns, and not living in any of the places, I fear that the reality is that I won’t be able to keep in touch.

However, just like how the poison ivy reappeared, I know that the people I have met will reappear in my life in various forms. For example, we met our Summer of Solutions friends in Hartford, but they came to our Bridgeport power plant rally, surprised Tara in New Haven for her birthday, and visited again while we were in New Haven. Don and Jan Hoyle, with whom we stayed in Mansfield Center, CT, came to our Stonington potluck and community meeting. On Monday, we stayed at the Hoyle’s lovely home for the second time this trip (the first was along our trip from Providence to Hartford and the second was along our trip up from New Haven to Cambridge). We also stayed with Ernie and Judy Edwards twice this summer and thankfully the second time we had more time to chat with Ernie than the first time we were there!

What these anecdotes show is that these relationships don’t have to finish once we are no longer Climate Summer rider interns because we have experienced something so unique that we cannot just let them slip through the cracks in our busy lives.

And with all the riders coming together once again to finish up the program, I am reminded of the rapid speed that this summer passed and that we will all be together una vez mas. I can only hope that my path crosses with each person I met again and again.

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