An earth memory is an person's best memory from their time on earth - or at least one that is extremely vivid. Douglas Coupland described the earth memory in Generation X, and four of the characters go on to describe their personal earth memories. But they are to be read in the novel, not recorded here.

"Fake yuppie experiences that you had to spend money on, like white water rafting or elephant rides in Thailand don't count. I want to hear some small moment from your life that proves you're really alive."

I am at summer camp in Algonquin Park - nine years old. We are on a six day portaging trip. It's the last day and tomarrow we go back to camp. I've been wearing the same clothes the entire trip but don't really care because you don't when you're young. We randomly pick a place to eat lunch and beach the canoes and jump ashore. There are four or five of us and we set out exploring.

We slide down a little hill to the other side of the shore, and clamber onto a large rock. For about a mile along the shore, all we can see are medium sized boulders covering the beach. Jumping back and forth between the rocks are hundreds and hundreds of toads - more than I have ever seen in my entire life. Perhaps we came at toad mating season. But this magic toady beach was ours for an afternoon. We've eaten almost all of the food we brought with us. The lanky teenage "counsellors" give us mashed crackers with peanut butter and jam to eat and it tastes like all the food I will ever want to eat in my entire life. That's what I'll take away with me - the smell of peanut butter and the weight of a toad in my palm and the feeling that I am part of something amazing.

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