I am blessed to earn a living doing what I love and feeling like I can make a difference in this horrifying world.
This week I brought a group of middle schoolers on their first backpacking trip. Never mind that most of them had never even packed a backpack before...the trip was full of firsts for me as well. My first time to Pie Town, NM and the Gila, ad well as Silver City and Elephant Butte, and my first time running a backpacking trip for my company (I'm usually the homebody at base camp).
It's wonderful to watch a group of kids who would otherwise be "watching TV and sleeping" challenge themselves to carry 1/3 of their body weight on a 5 mile journey over a mountain and into a remote canyon. It's equally powerful to watch and encourage them to engage with one another and figure out what their own limits are and how to push through them.
Despite several nights and mornings below freezing, 20 mph winds and a flat tire, we all were reminded of the value of community, companionship, and quiet... and were reminded of the comforts of home that we often take for granted.
I am blessed that I get to teach these lessons with every trip I take. I get to practice living minimally, and shocking children with concepts of my everyday life like homemade deodorant and not owning a television. And I learn so much from each group. This week I learned that camo hats get easily lost in trees; that sucking on a tea bag doesn't make tea; that you can disprove unwarranted first impressions; and that the sun often shines on the other side of the mountain.
I also confiirmed, through many conversations, that the world is just about full of people...and many of them need more attention than they can get. And my place in this world is to give attention to those in need, whether children or adults... (but never babies. Ew)