A young white man in his twenties, I was going to change the world. The new director of an urban early childhood program dedicated to providing services within a multiracial, multicultural, mixed-economic setting, I was passionate about the mission. I was not a novice to racial tensions, having given my confession of faith in a storefront church with a strong emphasis on inclusiveness, and educated in the St. Louis city and Ferguson-Florissant school districts.
The clouds hung over the summit like a wet towel and, as if the bathroom fan were broken, my eyeglasses fogged up. My first hike to the top of Washington’s Wind Mountain was ill-timed for taking in its views of the Columbia River Gorge, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Adams.
There is a feeling that comes over me when I'm hiking. Even in the extremely short post-operative shuffles that I’ve been taking as I recover from having surgery several weeks ago.
I feel connected. I feel literally grounded to creation and the creator that flows through each of us—butterfly, blade of grass, snake, and human. Sometimes I pause in my hiking and just sit for a while and take in the sounds, smells, and images around me.