A couple weeks ago, we took a group of students to the redwoods and guided them on an 11 mile hike where along the way we passed around 4 waterfalls. At one point we even hiked down steps that descended alongside the biggest cascade! I was awe stricken by the waterfalls, the giant trees, the ferns that decorated the forest floor (which did you know is called bracken?😳) and I felt so grateful to be able to show these students one of the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever been on🌲🌲 These students were some of the most dedicated, intelligent, determined young adults I had ever met and they inspired me and saddened me at the same time. These students had their sights set on schools like Yale, the cross country runners woke up at the break of dawn to run 16 miles before they would later embark on that 11 mile hike. Their dedication, their determination for their future is something to admire, yet at the same time I could see how society’s forward looking mind set had filtered into their every moment. The 11 mile hike became a race to the finish, to the point I could barely even keep up, and the waterfalls didn’t even encourage a second glance from the ‘finish line’ mentality🏅 I was once one of these students. I felt society’s pressure. I never stopped moving, playing sports, doing homework. I never stopped thinking about how every little thing would influence my future, what college I got into, even when the present passed me right by💨 Now, I stop, watch, listen to, play with the waterfalls. Now I am much happier✨ The students themselves did not sadden me, but society’s influence does. Setting your sights high for yourself is admirable. Believing you can be successful is inspiring. 24/7 dedication is incredible. I’m in no way saying that these things are bad, I’m in no way saying these ways of life are wrong. I’m saying that we as a society should find a balance and teach balance. That the future IS important, but the present is too. School for some IS important, but it isn’t everything, it’s not the only way. Pushing yourself IS important, but so is allowing yourself to slow down so you don’t push past the beautiful things in life. Balance IS important✨🍃⛰💫
Being in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, we were surrounded by so many giant, strong and powerful trees🌲Beings that make you feel grateful to feel small in this world🌎 We saw thousands of year old trees, we saw the biggest tree in the world and we also saw evidence of old logging, stumps that stood alone, missing a part of their whole. History told us a story of how people discovered these enormous, never before seen trees and wanted to share their discovery. Wanted to be the first to speak of these unheard of trees🌲🍃So in 1875, people cut down the trees to give proof of their existence. “At least three nearby sequoias died to prove that they lived.” And yet the slice of the trunk still went down in history as a California hoax… I love these trees, I love nature and it’s sad how often this tale happens, that something must die just to prove our own knowledge, support our ego, eradicate our fear of the unknown. It happens with species, animals, plants, phenomenon all over the world. We feel we need to completely understand or discover and then exhibit in order to respect the species, respect our own species’ knowledge capabilities. We say that language separates us from every other species and yet most never try to speak their obviously functioning language. Many never stop to think that their language could be more evolved, beyond our comprehension, a spot on perception of vibration, energy, sound smell and maybe we just aren’t there yet. Why do we need to know everything about something to give it value? Why do we have to see pictures of a species to respect their illusive existence? Why do we have to hurt animals to prove they feel? Why do we have to kill, to invade to prove they exist? Why do we have to kill to prove that WE exist, that we are superior?