June 20th 2016, around 11:30pm
With the sun setting on the Summer Solstice, across from the low-hanging Strawberry Moon, we drove down the Road to Nowhere.
After a steep hike, we were standing together atop a rocky hill overlooking Iqaluit on one side, and open tundra divided by a river of ice water on the other. There we were with flushed cheeks and hiking boots, smiling and sighing at a moment we will carry with us for the rest of our lives.
I was breathless. This is what it feels like to be at the top of the world: a mix of exhaustion, disbelief, exhilaration, and gratitude.
The sun was setting after over 20 hours in the sky. It was the longest day of my life – and I didn’t want it to end.
It was almost three years ago to the day that I had opened a letter accepting me to the Atlantic Veterinary College. The road to that goal was long and involved. I had worked for years to achieve that, and that Solstice moment represented a personal victory. That moment on top of that hill, surrounded by so much space and by an incredible team of people was an unexpected gift.
Who knows what you will find on the Road to Nowhere.
Dionne Paine, AVC 2017, traveled to Iqaluit in 2016 as one of the student participants on the Chinook Project. As part of the experience, the students craft various pieces of reflective writing. This is one of Dionne’s pieces