Reflections Footprints

The Eastern Slope of the Sierra Nevada

I am having a quiet evening tonight shuffling through imagery and thoughts of my past and wondering what is next. I didn’t sit down tonight with the intent to write this. It just felt right. This post is for me. Finally.

“He was a wanderer on a prehistoric earth, on an earth that wore the aspect of an unknown planet. But time is the fire in which we burn. We are but a fleeting moment, a footprint at the edge of the rising tide.” Solitaire

A lot of time has passed since I’ve felt the healthy untethering of my thoughts and a full awakening of a past spirit that was a constant flame in my life. A lot of personal healing and strength over the years is culminating and reveling itself in these next steps of my life.

The story is old and I was younger.

Years past, more than 15 of them. I saw lot’s of suffering and joy in the world; worked in 3rd world health clinics, worked with displaced children living on the streets, organized and led service learning abroad trips to Latin America. I spent time as a backcountry ranger for the Forest Service. I traveled for 2 years and lived out of a backpack with the simple intent of experiencing the world and it’s humanity. I was enthusiastic, a dreamer, and high spirited. I lived a fully present life and because of that the world opened to me.

I saw hope and prosperity in the most unbelievable places and moments.

I followed an education and career into human services. I chose Psychology and had the desire of doing graduate work in developmental cognitive neuroscience. That all changed. Only a few close friends and family members followed me through the fire or remember me from before.

“I want to be remembered as a woman who tried. Remember me for my failures. I have no control over my successes, that is in the hands and eyes of others. I want to be remembered for the times I tried and failed, for the times I tried, kept trying, wouldn’t give up, and failed.” My Jewish grandmother

At the time - 8 years ago - I had made my home in an isolated corner of Southwestern Colorado working as a councilor at a juvenile detention facility. I worked with children who were barely hanging on as the system and often their own families eroded their hope for a future. I tried to make a difference.

One evening I watched my supervisor hurt a child and reported him to our superiors. I was later terminated because I wouldn’t change a report I had written about the incident. I wouldn’t remove a statement the child had made, he had fingered the supervisor as an abuser. Once the State found out about the incident the agency tried to protect itself through subterfuge and reported that I had failed to report the abuse to them. I became unemployable, because of the circumstances I would couldn’t work with children again. I couldn’t attend the graduate program that I had applied to. I was destroyed.

I took menial jobs and sold most of my worldly possessions so my partner and I could pay rent and purchase food. I sold items and let go of dreams that were my identity. I fought and struggled to return to the work that I wanted to do, to work with children. After more than 5 years of dealing with lawyers and the despair of the court system I failed, I gave up and pursued a new career.

I’ve been whole for sometime but it wasn’t until tonight that it fully dawned on me.

I am exploring the world again and relishing in it’s warmth. I have more miles on my body but I emerged. I am doing work that is worthwhile and of consequence. I am of consequence and am helping make the world better.

~ January 26, 2013