A Daily Journey

Every day is a journey. The sun is rising, we open our eyes, and we are embarking. Bravely, we face the world. We meet other characters along the way, many of them recurring, some new and surprising. Even the recurring characters often surprise us. We meet challenges, face obstacles, and sometimes we descend into darkness. Not every day or every journey has a clear resolution or a happy ending, but at the end of the day’s journey the sun flashes like fire, red and orange, as it sets in climactic glory. We sleep, awaiting another day, another mysterious journey into the unknown future, another chapter in the larger journey of our life.

Once upon a time, Lauren and I were on a journey. A grand adventure. Then it ended. Suddenly it was over, and everything was ordinary. Mundane. That was how I saw it, but for only a moment. Then I learned to see the extraordinary in the ordinary. I met the single, solitary day. I introduced myself. “Hello, today,” I said. “Who are you? What can I do with you? How can I get to know you better?” Be. Here. Now. …this is what I learned to start saying to myself. And it has made all the difference.

Not in the future. Not in the past. Nor elsewhere geographically. Just BE. HERE. NOW.

Geographic travel is empty if you do not know and love the present moment. You must be thankful for today: where you are, what you have, the air that you breathe. When you can do this in your own back yard, then you are prepared for new geography.

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“Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” – Lao Tzu

Today, I write from new geography, but that is only a side-note. This place is as ordinary as my own back yard, and my own back yard is as extraordinary as this place. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to travel, to see new places and to meet new people. I do not take it for granted. But if the focus is on travel, travel only breeds discontent. My first focus is to be thankful for the very air I breathe and the land beneath my feet regardless of where I am. To appreciate and honor the simplest of things. If I can’t do this, then the trips I make become only a gateway to later discontent.

So when I wake in the morning, no matter where I am, I greet the day and the new journey that comes with it. I am thankful for that journey. And I set forth on the voyage of today.

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The Last Day and the First

Today is March 15th, the ides of March, and it is the final day of our adventure across and around America. Of course, in my opinion, the last day of any adventure is also the first day of the next adventure. So today, on my last day, I hopped on a very early morning flight to San Angelo, Texas, where I will participate in a week-long well drilling course with a group called Water For All International (http://waterforallinternational.org). I arrived in the morning, and the course officially began today, though bad weather and flight delays (of other students) has held us back a bit. Lauren spent her last/first day on a solitary fifteen and a half hour drive from Tampa, FL, to Searcy, AR. A great time for her to reflect on the past month as well as anticipate the coming ones.

When It Rains It Roars

Living in small towns, as I have nearly all my life, engenders creativity.  In small town life, on a slow, rainy day, there are only so many ways one can entertain him or herself … that is, unless the infinite possibilities of the imagination are applied to the situation.

One famous use of creativity:  Stormdrain Rafting.

Supplies:  a flood, a creek or storm drain, an airmatress, strong swimming abilities, a lifeguard/partner-in-crime, and resilience to the elements.

Geared UpRaftingApproaching the Rapids