“How do you say something to someone every time you see them?”
As I watched “When We Were Knights”, alot slipped into place. “You either live a genuine life true to who you are or you don’t.” So much comes from so much that surrounds us, I guess I live for these quotes that just – zam – zap in memories and experiences that, if you are lucky, are bought back tp life by a trigger word or a phrase. In watching another Go Pro movie about a man who has grown up with a Grizzly – and one individual thing also reached out to me – the narrator, Casey, stating how his parents letting him just go out and roam. I never realized how fortunate a childhood I did have being able to catch organisms in jars and bring them home, plant all kinds of found plants and being them back in pots and that was tolerated, just being able to run through fields that looked as if they kissed the sky, I was allowed hours into the wild, and it had effects on me later I just took for granted, but I am thankful for those moments just the same. I find the Go Pro camera bring you even closer to life through photography, the same as writing, people, experiences, and that music does for me.
So many moments bring me back to moments that yes, I night have taken for granted, but I am fortunate enough to have the time to celebrate them again and revisit them due to a life change and geographical change, allowing me to experience some pretty great people, and having the time, time to just relax, reflect, and add to those past experiences that still allow my present and future to be connected by them – and to help define me. Let’s talk music – seeing Slash three years ago in Mexico as my first concert in Mexico, then again having the ability to see Guns ‘N Roses the first night in April here in Mexico – I have to tell you, I loved it. The sound of Axl was – just – how could he sound the SAME as when I was in high school? Yet it was, the night, despite the pouring rain, despite Axl being confined to a wheel chair due to a broken bone, nah – all of it, was not a revisit of things that reminded me of being older, it reminded me of being younger.
Star Lake amphitheatre. (Now called First Niagara Pavilion – now THAT is a shame). I am sure everyone has similar experience, similar places where they went to many a concert and sat on the lawn, taking in the night to a great great concert. From the first concert of Starlake’s history,
“That would have been right around 6:30 on the evening of June 17, 1990, when the traffic for the Billy Joel concert, the first national act there, looked like the road to Woodstock.”
(Billy Joel as parachutists came down in to the middle of the grass with the American Flag) to seeing Jimmy Buffet, Reba McIntire, George Strait, Steve Miller Band, Toby Keith, Van Halen, Phil Collins, The Eagles, Amy Grant, just to name a few – those moments with friends at those concerts were priceless – the smells, the nights, the stars, it defined and redefined music for me in a whole new way. I am lucky to have had such close friends that the few and in between concerts I do go to now, (two in five years) still hold a chance to remember the concerts I witnessed and those same nostalgic moments from way back beyond, friends, starts, the smell – you knowit don’t you, of summer…
I also underestimated the benefits of having so many teaching experiences, both in a day-to-day struggle and also more rural, and urban areas altogether, when it came to my experiences today. I am so grateful for the amazing colleagues and students that helped mold me as time went on, and I had no idea one day I’d be standing on the rooftop of my apartment during a thunder/rain storm, in the middle of MEXICO of all places and yet, it is true, your heart will take you to places you have never dreamed of. Here I am, and I am here due to the amazing time that so many of the above mentioned have given me through the years.
There is much I miss, but I realize, I am not sure I can ever fully thank all involved for the moments they gave me, because as mentioned, it has brought me here, to be surrounded by individuals I could never dream of not meeting, and do not want to let them go. The miracle of still being in contact in some form, with these very individuals through all these years, that is a gift all of itself.
I recall seeing the thunder storm on the horizon of the Canadian/United States border and hearing the sound reach us moments later, the amazing life of living in the middle of the National Allegheny Forest, so isolated, yet, amazed when a deer bounded out right in front of me on the many walks through a wilderness that can’t be captured in film or described in words, the amazing scene of mountains unfolding themselves and the nights when you can’t see 5 feet in front of you in that same forest with a blizzard – the night Amish neighbors came to my rescue when a wheel fell off and they give me a ride and helped me fix my wheel and I was forever in their debt…
Thousands, thousands of stories, thousands of moments, and I count myself lucky for the times where I thought I hit a dead-end, thought I led a monotonous, boring life and in reality I have led such a magical life thanks to the beauty of nature, individuals that have an inner beauty and so so much potential and energy that runs through my DNA, these five years in Mexico now matched to the five years I spent at Seaford, are the longest I have spent at any institution. Within those five years at both places, I still can recall the smell of pine as I worked my way through the Chapel Branch sanctuary now known as the VInce Morris Trail, I still can recall the first day I landed in Mexico and became lost from Zona Rosa to Roma Norte to now how it seems like all in the palm of my hand, there is so much that was new that still feels that way thanks to so many individuals, moments, and the time to appreciate it all.
I see a future when one day I will have my own ranch land, my own time to visit with all these individuals who have shaped me into who I am, time to go back and visit these sacred places that also shaped me, but most of all, realizing that the time to give back is as powerful as the time of making these memories. I look forward to magical moments of celebrating graduations of dear dear friends, clubs, teams, classes, projects, that I saw born, if you can believe that, to making opportunities to give back to those areas. I realize it is never to late if you make certain moments and places a priority. The hard part is the realization. I am lucky enough to have countless individuals that help me remember that day after day.