Nearly 40 years ago I had one of those experiences that stick with you forever. It happened while my 3rdform class at Campion College was on our hike to the top of Blue Mountain Peak and when I think about even after the passage of so many years, it still brings back great memories of friendship and shared experiences.
That hike up the highest mountain peak in Jamaica was the ‘big one’ for our class. We had gone to Newcastle the previous year for a one night sleep over at the military camp. The Blue Mountain hike dwarfed that: a multi-day trek with one night spent camping on the Peak.
On day one we climbed to Whitfield Hall where we had a great dinner and slept at the lodge. The next morning we headed out early and tackled Jacobs Ladder before the nearly 4 mile push up the final slopes of the peak. We got there at supper time and even though we were freezing cold in the damp fog we were deliriously giddy knowing we were with standing on top of Jamaica. Magically the next morning the fog cleared and gave us a 360 degree view of the magnificence that is Jamaica. What a beautiful and rugged country! No wonder Jamaicans are so determined and resilient. We ran down the slopes the next morning. Boys of course will be boys and we had to be competitive.
I made a lifelong friend that trip. Even though we both left Jamaica shortly after that we have met in December each year for the past 40 years to catch up. Sometimes we don’t speak to each other for months on end but when we get together it’s as if we had seen each other only yesterday. Do you have a friend like that?
I had a similar experience a couple of weeks ago at the Reggae Marathon. I ran the ½ marathon with my son. It wasn’t my best run as the finish line pictures showed but we crossed the finish line together. That shared experience will stick with me forever. I had a son but I made a friend that day.
Until next time…