by Becca Droz, '05, '06
No tears threatened to surface as I gave my last hugs, said my last goodbyes, and ultimately walked away from my Roanoke "hick town" Virginia 2006 SCA crew. The fact that I would never be together with these people again, let along be working on a trail with them, just hadn't sunk in.
The first time it really hit me was when I heard and "SCA song" for the first time since I left my crew; that is when the tears not only surfaced, but overflowed my eyes. This "SCA song" was one of the many that was played multiple times during my SCA adventure. Since I've been home, I have reminisced about my trip in many ways. I think about it before I go to sleep, during class, when I'm outside, during homework, and every time I see a picture from SCA. But I reflect best and more than ever while listening to music that was often played during our rides in the Big Green Van.
The Big Green Van was our transportation. From the airport to our campsite, to our worksite and back every day, to the lake, to ice cream, to town on our days off, to wherever our travels took us, The Van was there with us. Every time we got into the van, it was a battle for Shotgun. The person sitting Shotgun had many advantages including more room, and a feeling of superiority, but the best part about the front seat was controlling the radio. Everyone on the crew had different tastes in music. Some liked classic rock, some rap, some liked Justin Timberlake's "Sexy Back," but in the end, we always compromised to please almost everyone.
It all began when we six kids first sat in The Van together. Wes from Vermont, Arlo from "cardboard box" Arkansas, Kyle from Virginia, Leila from a little place in California, Aude from France, and me -- Becca -- from the biggest city of them all, Pittsburgh, PA. One can only imagine the variety of music that comes from such a diverse group.
As we all sat, awkwardly silent in the van, no one knowing anyone, the radio was turned on. There was not a great variety of music at the time, and we ended up listening to something no one liked, and we all knew it. One of the first things said about music in that van was "Is this Christian Rock?" and from there, the subject of music bloomed into one flower, soon becoming a garden.
Since we listened to the radio several times every day, we were bound to hear the same songs multiple times. Though they became a bit irritatingly overplayed during the trip, these songs became the trademark of my SCA trip. These were the songs that I sang while I worked, the songs I hummed and whistled around camp, and the songs that became imbedded into my mind as "SCA" songs.
When I listen to these songs, I transport myself back to the trail. I can feel my pulse beat double-time and my face fade to pink as I hike up the switchbacks. I grin when I think about the satisfaction of feeling my Pulaski go through the last root in the stump I had been hacking at for hours. A rush of happiness hits me like a shot of adrenaline when I replay our morning ice breaker games in my head and I laugh just thinking about how silly we all were.
A shower of nostalgia envelopes me when I retrace my steps across the sections of trail that I dug out, and I threw rocks from and I chopped roots from, and I created out of something that was once merely a hill. This music brings me back to experiences I will never go through again. As much as I would love to return to my crew, reality hits and I know that I never will, so all I have left are memories that I can revisit through music.
As time goes on, I won't remember as much, what I do remember won't be a vivid, and the nostalgia will fade. I may not reflect every day, or every week, or even every month, but one thing is for sure, each time I hear one of "the songs" I will reflect. And I will remember.
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