I'm typing this with my thumbs from a coffee shop in Taos. Twelve children that I'm responsible for are meandering through the Paseo arts festival and I'm simultaneously horrified that something will go wrong and intrigued by the tan moth on the other side of this window.
|Water coloring on Women's Wilderness Trek|
I couldn't begin to articulate all the emotions I've endured in the last 6 months. I am so grateful for the opportunities I've been afforded this year, and perplexed at how variable my life has become. And yet, while I couldn't have predicted who would move into my house or out of my life, or what coffee shop I would be drinking at on the first Saturday of fall... I have at least had the stability of a profession I'm passionate about.
As I sit here chatting logistics with three high schoolers on my last "trek" of the season, I can't help but reflect on all the journeys I've been on this month. I've climbed mountains and trees, trapped rattlesnakes and cleaned wounds. I have been dirty, stinky, cold, wet and happy-- often at the same time. I've watched sunrises and sunsets and slept under the stars... all while offering the same opportunity to young people from 5-17 years old. Each group of students has made it more evident to me how crucial it is for young people to Experience. To try new things, to be uncomfortable, and to say Yes (and Thank You) are essential to growth... and I've walked with kids that choose To and those that choose not to... or lack the inspiration to ask "What else is there?"
|My dirty trekkin' pants|
At the same time, I've been reflecting on all the opportunities I was offered growing up. It was up until at least 10 years ago that I was a young, hopeful girl afraid of being uncomfortable. Now that I've overcome that fear I get paid to climb mountains. I can get a 1 ton truck out of the mud. I can guide 30 people through a slot canyon. I can pretty reliably predict the weather. I have grown immensely in this job, even in this last month of exhaustion...
Nevertheless, I've been counting down the days until I can sleep in my own bed for a full week, even a month. I'm so tired from all these experiences...yet I'm already looking forward to next Spring season. And some goooood solid sleeps in between.