Our Little Culture

by Jason

Here in France, things are so casual.  We have this amazing group of fifteen-ish people all here studying French for the summer; a very random group of people.  Despite our diversity and differences we have all become close friends.  Honestly, we are a bunch of people that would probably never have hung-out except for the fact that we were all here in Collonges-sous-Saleve together.

The most interesting part about this is that really, we have become more than friends.  In a lot of ways we have become our own little culture.  There are all these jokes and sayings that we say offhandedly on a daily basis; things that no one would understand unless they were part of our group.

This evening, a small group of us was in the kitchen of the girl’s dorm baking something that was supposed to be cupcakes.  We were laughing a lot, we always laugh a lot.  It was wonderful.  It was perfect.  Most days here are that way.

I stood there laughing and enjoying the company of these incredible people; each of them with their own unique personalities and quirky attributes.  But as I laughed, I began to realize how in just a few days we will start getting on planes and then our little culture won’t exist anymore.  Probably for a few weeks or months it will be carried on across the invisible wires of cyber-space as we excitedly Facebook each other or tag each other in photos.  Eventually however, the reality will set in and many of us will never see each other again.

Perhaps it sounds depressing.  I’ve done this before though, several times now.  The thing that I have come to realize is that it isn’t actually sad.  I’m not saying it will be easy to leave these people and that I won’t shed a couple of tears; I will be sad and I may even cry a bit.  Instead I am saying that this summer with these people has been one of the beautiful things in my life.  It is something that has changed me, has made me a better person, something that has made me more into the person I really am.  Even though this group of people will never be together again, the memories and the effect they had on me will last for the rest of my life.

Life allows us to have these wonderful experiences.  They are never meant to last forever but in a way they are eternal.  They are cherished.  They are perfect.

And to paraphrase something that  my good friend wrote, “no one can take that from us.”