By: Bryan Goldner
“To finish the moment, to find the journey’s end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom.” – Ralph Waldo Emmerson
As the end of this journey nears I am filled with trepidation, but also hope. The uncertainty of the future is what keeps the mind sharp in the present. We must march on towards the goals we set only to form new ones when the previous is reached, such is the engine of progress. In the final weeks of my term here I look back fondly on the people I have met and worked with, the places I have seen and the changes I have made on a landscape I have grown to love.
When I think of my long trek back to Virginia and my last semester at college I wonder about what others will be doing. Some will return as crew leaders and field specialists to keep living the dream as chainsawing, rock breaking, trail building wild people. Others of us will go on to get “jobs” taking the experience and resolve from our terms as resources to build careers. Whatever the corps members choose to do, they should know that what they’ve built over the past year is a step from which to see farther and jump higher towards what comes next.
For me, I think the strangeness will be in replacing a pulaski with a pen, sitting in a classroom daydreaming about the sound that a poplar makes when it falls into the snow. In that way this journey will stay with me no matter where I end up. A sudden urge to run into the woods and hike to the top of a mountain, or build something just for the fun of it will be the manifests of my adventure in Minnesota. If you let the positive endeavors of your past influence each step that you take into the future then they cease to be memories. They become the drivers of personal growth. Thank you for a great year, and good luck to those who will take up where we left off!