There comes a time when one must make a choice, one that you can always change later… until changing means the path leads to not who you really are. The opportunity, and it is an opportunity, passes now and again. It sometimes is mildly planned. Sometimes, not so much. And when the time comes there so many factors to take into consideration when making this choice each and every. fucking. time.
Love. Security. Commonness. Familiarity. and just so much more.
Knowing what tomorrow will bring is of the utmost importance when predicting the rest of your life. Other times not knowing is an amenity in your new path. And no matter how each chapter ends, the next is a new beginning. Because there is something that draws you to see a choice.
Money. Self Fulfillment. Self Respect. Enlightenment. and just so much more.
To cry with such joy and delight. The Passion takes you to a higher level.
This story is about one of those moments. Not why I chose this particular path, it wasn’t until more than a year later, and millions of circumstances later that it just happened to happen, and it was one of the most amazing things that has happened ever in my life. No Question.
I was working with inner city youth. Most of them were American Immigrants, or the first child in their family born in America. (quick note: I do not subdivide immigrants by denoting their country of origin because I find it offensive to label someone by literally calling them the name of what they are running away from. think about that, fucking assholes)
So I load up about a dozen kids in a couple Econolines, with two on staff chaperones and hall them all into a State Park. I walked them to the trailhead, handed out six maps and six compasses, showed them where they were on the map, and where we were going. A week or so prior, I had taught them all how to read a map and use a compass, and keep in mind, these children had never once – ever – not had concrete under their feet and cell service. They had never been encapsulated by trees, with nothing but dirt at their feet. Twelve kids stepped onto chocolate loam and started marching – the chaperones mixed in and I’m sweeping, and taking my time doing it.
As I stroll to the bottom of the hill, there stood fourteen people at the edge of a creek, a cacophony of chatter and questions filled the air. I strolled up to the brook, slipped off my Vans, and moseyed through a tickling ten inches of crisp, clear water. Reaching the other side, a mild thirty feet later, a couple minnows shot away from my ankles as I stepped up onto the opposite bank. Shaking my feet off and stepping back into my slip-ons, I look over at the astonished youth and said; “If you want to go back and wait in the van I’ll chuck you the keys, but I’m going for a hike.”
Somewhere I have video. I’ll stumble onto it someday.
These brave kids, as if they were fording a mighty river, laughed and screamed and pumped fists and hugged and laughed and stumbled across the most quaint stream in the middle of the woods you would ever find… and they were heroes. As I stood there throwing high fives and hoots and hollers and smiles and it did not relent as they marched like kings along the winding creek. And then they stopped.
At there feet there was a bank, and about thirty feet of the most beautiful, clear, clean, water babbling along its merry way. We had to cross it a second time.
And these kids, they charged.
Their bubble of life, the ends of their world, had always been encased in concrete and buildings, multiple lanes and smog, trains and buses and noise. That day, they looked onto a whole new world from mountain tops, drinking rain drops, and trying to stop time. Things they had never seen before, and couldn’t believe. The sweet smell of the outdoors, and its crisp breath. It might as well had been Mars.
For the next four hours this was my life. This took me to a higher level. When the memory of this washes over me – which it did as I wrote it – the smile hurts. In life there or peaks and valleys, and I was on top of the world. And everyone has something that makes them feel exactly like this. And you know you do. Because your passion is who you are, and that is not your choice.
So I would like to encourage you to say fuck it.
Commit to doing what takes you to a higher level and smile until it hurts.
Head first, face down.
Because it is about time we do, and that is when shit will change.by
Great fucking story, thank you for sharing.
Good work trying to make better the lives of others by exposing them to something good and new!
Your post bring tears of joy to my eyes! You go on and continue give this gift.Thank you! Pretty sure these kids will still remember about this very day well into their old age!
Wonderful story! Are you taking them for a return trip soon?