My final Slow Food Cycle Sunday task was to put together an assortment of documents which, when handed to Tourism Pemberton, might be used to organize next yearís event.
Aware that this group is well-equipped to handle the project and not wishing to appear clingy, yet knowing that certain information was bound to clarify rather than obfuscate, I ranged widely through nine years of binders and computer files. The pile of possibilities included several versions of the Traffic Management Plan, sponsorship letters, Food Safety guidelines, route maps, sign location maps, insurance documents, registration forms, invoices and event day supplies checklists.
In the end, I printed out the current contact list of every farmer, vendor, funder, sponsor, permitting agency and volunteer. To that I added all the feedback compiled last year from anyone who had anything to say. I printed out the project timeline which we in no way follow but, if considered, certainly serves as a checklist of important event coordination milestones.
A copy of the all-important volunteer co-ordinator job description made the cut, and I hope I remembered to scribble the website and email passwords somewhere. These I placed mindfully into a crisp, blue folder: nine years distilled into nine pieces of paper.
Later that night I handed the folder over to Tourism Pemberton and afterwards tried to moonwalk my way backstage. It would have been the perfect exit had there been a stage to disappear behind, and had the carpet been more like a dance floor, and my shoes more like dancing shoes. In reality I staggered physically, if flitting mentally, over to where my glass of champagne awaited my attentions.
Was it a feeling of exaltation? No, more like an exhalation of relief. After making the decision to hand the event over to Tourism Pemberton, I realized just how relieved I was that they were even interested and was a little surprised at the depth of this feeling of grateful appreciation.
It is how I imagine it feels to let go of a child, and a prodigal one at that. A promising child that became a reasonably pliant, if pimply, adolescent, and then quite suddenly became a young adult who no longer fits under the roof, ate too much and whose dirty laundry too often ended up in my hands. At this point the prudent parent might point to the door and snick the lock gently behind.
It is a far from heartless gesture that saves the relationship and allows for the possibility of growth.
I donít know if this is how it is or not, but I certainly felt moved to moonwalk away from the event.
Picture the title: Tourism Pemberton presents Slow Food Cycle Sunday. Isn't that perfect?
I love this event, my farm loves this event and my community loves this event. Handing the blue folder over to Tourism Pemberton means that we'll get to enjoy it for years to come and I'll still be doing what I like to do best on the third Sunday of every August, which is to show off Pemberton as much as possible. The big difference will be that from now on I won't have to feel guilty about stashing the official radio, which I am ashamed to admit I never really figured out how to use.