© 2016 by Marisol Cruz.

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    Protection... reflections.

    June 3, 2016

    During my conference in Lakeland, I managed to find some rain gear on Craigslist.  


    For a full week, Wendy and I played phone tag until we finally connected.  



    Sight unseen, I purchased her waterproof wear.  Nothing like sending a complete stranger cash via Western Union.  


    Hoping for the best. Hoping it fits.  


    Her stories of being on the back of her now deceased husband's Gold Wing had me convinced she was no scam artist.


    Ned and Wendy.


    Married 37-years.


    Traveling all over the country.



    I created a postcard of them in my mind. 


    I imagine wearing this suit more so during wilderness hikes and less so on the motorcycle.  


    Let's hope I avoid those slanted, torrential downpours, Wendy!  

    A charming teenager named Reagan wanted to send me off with some opportunities to reflect, so she presented me with the experience passport. It's a bendable, compact but deceptive little item.  


    One of the experiences: turn off your smart-phone for a week.  


    What did you miss?  What did you gain?  That's experience #11.  

    Unplugging completely from technology (and I mean completely) just does not seem possible anymore.  


    It seems that my obsession to remain connected serves as a glaring paradox of how detached I am from those present around me.  


    Have we not all been in that space?  


    There: screen.


    Here: flesh.  


    Two places at once, yet no place at all.  

    I had an appointment today with a specialist.  You know.  One of those annual -- I'm over 40 -- exams required before venturing out into the great, big unknown.  Dr. "L" shared some motorcycle stories.  Heck, for a moment, her face even lit up -- a trek through Vietnam -- another ride through Croatia -- of course, none of them involved her!  She's too busy seeing patients.   

    I officially told my students that I had resigned from my teaching post to explore the United States.  


    I will admit it; I procrastinated for quite some time.  


    I dreaded their reaction.  


    Frankly, I expected the worst.  Fearing they would hate me for abandoning them.  I mentally prepared myself for a backlash.  Instead, they were excited for what was in store for me.


    Teenagers surprise us all-knowing adults at times with moments of lucidity.  

    Here they are.  


    Of course, I had to include a photo of my homebase squad: a lively group of 15 and 16-year-olds.  


    Future creators of the world!      




    They recently posted up a world map in their hang out space and began to mark all the places they had visited. 


    It was then that I was struck with how young people see themselves.  They embrace connection -- not just to their small town, but to a larger global space.  


    I am not sure I experienced that sense of belonging when I was that age. Sure, I had friends from different backgrounds but to admit that I saw myself as part of a broader world?  




    I am confident that I was far too self-absorbed to experience such a connection.  

    It is quite clear to me now how lucky I am to have connected with them.  


    I dedicate this video post to my beautiful Class of 2018! 

    Thank you Metric for helping me get across in lyrics 

    what I could not express in words.  





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