(Title quote from "Hurricane Charlie," who has disregarded grammar, sitting under a cliff overhang. When asked which trail to follow, and after he was handed a few skittles.)
Andy offered a "bonus skittle" to whoever's guess was closest to the rock's age. 270 million years old. The rock we slept on and climbed up and watched the sunrise from is 270 million years old. Relatively new, in geological time.
Your life is really put into perspective when you realize that your lifetime is just a split second in the rocks' cycles of formation and erosion, just a nonexistent speck in another planet's constellation. Every trip into the desert I remember this, and that it all doesn't matter as much as I think it does––yet the scale makes the tiny life that I have so indescribably more significant.
I'm endlessly grateful for the community of friends-turned-family that has helped raise me all these years, the countless campfire jam sessions, potlucks, little kids to play with, the parties, the stories, the conversations. Becoming more grateful as I realize that not everyone has had a tribe of artists and scientists and teachers and Hurricane Charlies to learn from, to go night-sledding and river-tripping and philosophy-ranting with since before I could walk. Grateful to freezing little Silverton, Colorado for serendipitously bringing us together in the Avalanche Coffee House and bundled up on kick-sleds (and that we don't live there anymore!). Every one of you, all the way down to little Flora pouring sand on her head, will always be my biggest role models. I hope that we can find ways to reunite in the desert for many years to come, till the tribe grows as us younger generations have kids to tell ghost stories to. Nothing makes me happier than knowing I will always have such a loving community, and such a gorgeous landscape, to come home to.
Thank you for recognizing the insignificance of our lives and celebrating it, for sharing your love for the world, and for being part of my constellation. I have so much love for you all!