As of Saturday evening, I am back in Manassas, Virginia...
I look forward to seeing folks back home and along the eastern seaboard-- I had planned one final road trip to New England, but unfortunately, I think this might now be out of the question...for now.
This winter holiday season will be relaxed for me I think: Staying with my folks, visiting with friends, a bit of training, climbing, and preparing myself for a winter season in the Everglades of Florida with North Carolina Outward Bound. I will be leading Canoeing (possibly sea kayaking , but not as likely?) courses in the 10,000 Islands outside of Everglades City -- and I excitedly anticipate being able to see all of my friends who will be down there...
So, a shout out goes to Jarod and Joanna, as they are most likely embarking on a joint adventure through life that will lead them first to Montana - home of beautiful country side, The Depot (my favorite restaurant in Missoula), Conrad Anker, and Greg Mortenson.
This is great for so many reasons! Just to name a few:
1) Climbing rules! There is certainly plenty of it on those hills, and I am excited to get out and visit, climb, and adventure with two of my best friends...
2) Conrad started the Khumbu Climbing School to educate Sherpas bound for the big peaks how to stay safe* in the Himalaya, and Greg started Pennies for Peace and the Central Asia Institute- both organizations for which I am passionate. It would be neat to catch up with both such figures and fetch more ideas for a school that Joanna, Jarod and myself are excited to open one day.
3) I love the mountains
6) Fly fishing
7)Adventure with friends.
As I consider the plans of my future, I see visions of Grad School (Outdoor/Experiential Learning), potentially PhD work (focusing on mountain cultures? Perhaps?). I also see in the more immediate future, more focus on climbing, going higher, going colder, getting crampons and axes and seeing what Daumal is exactly talking about... The hills and cliffs of our beautiful world are calling... they also demand immense respect. I am excited to pay that respect.
This planet is beautiful. Its people are beautiful. I pray for the day that we (the people) and it (the land) will be completely sustainable with our symbiosis. I also will commit to educating the future, and the present about the past, and the choices we have to make about the history that is not yet written... so that the dimension of People to People can be pursued with love, compassion, moral courage, and tenacity towards Peace and sustainability for all...
Children run this world.
Why do we (in the most universal, collective sense) seem to generate scenarios where the children need to run from this world?
Call me idealist. Call me what you will. Let us use our will to do what we will, and to empower the children to discover a will of their individual own so that they might be able to pick up the pieces of our mothers and fathers, and place them like pieces in the puzzle of life. May the children figure out the solution to the jumbled mess that is our present presence, and, like a present, they will present the gift of peace, if we will only give them room to breathe it so...
Blast from the past:
Me at ADV WV, second year - 2004
*safe being a relative term. As we know, in nearly everything we do, there is inherent risk and danger...nothing is truly safe.