After doing a vast amount of research on stars for my Environmental Education, I realized that every ending is just the start to a new beginning. Massive blue giants, 20 times more massive than our Sun die and give birth to new stars, to planets and in the rare case of Earth, life. When we humans die, the atoms that compose our corpses become a part of the Earth’s environment. According the ﬁrst law of thermodynamics, energy is neither created nor destroyed. Nothing can truly be lost, just reformed. This is now a prominent philosophy, among many others, that fuels my mentality. Even though I won’t see many of the friends that I made in the DRC for some time, maybe never again, my experiences and knowledge gained will stay with me for the rest of my life.
I will no longer breath the dry desert air, speak to creosotes like a mad man during mulch runs or have the pleasure of pooping while watching the sunrise over a land liberated almost completely of other humans. However, now I have the luxury of breathing the humid air of Tennessee, laying out my life plans to my pets and being able to have access to shower on a daily basis. Perspective seems to hold a lot of weight in this conversation. I could have been angry and dissatisﬁed with living in a tent, pooping in an ammo container or having no internet access. But instead I saw opportunity. I began to not only play guitar more and exercise regularly, but I also found time to just think. To think about my past, present and future self. To really scrutinize my actions over my entire life. The desert, as dry and dead as it may be, has been an exceptional environment for self-realization.
As my crew will often say – “welp it’s about that time”; time to end this phase of our lives and to begin something new. Many members will be distraught following the end of this season. People we have leaned on emotionally for several months will now be ripped from beneath us. But how else will we learn to stand properly if we are not picked up and pushed down every once and a while? Life seems to constantly do that to humans. We are taught to go one way and we trust this way until our eyes are directed to a new path by someone else or out of our own volition. And that is what we want. Humans desire variety and excitement. Sure, there may be a healthy dose of fear that comes along with the unknown but that is part of the excitement. We keep attaching the word “last” onto everything towards the end of the season. I am putting an end to that with the last blog post for our crew. And the ﬁnal quote of the season from Carl Bard – “Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”