My awesome, incredible sister-in-law Brandy was supposed to be one of the volunteer guides on the Tadpole Foundation trip I went on this past month. Do to things outside of her control she was not able to be a part of the trip, which was a real bummer for all involved. She has a real heart for veterans and the outdoors! In fact she, & my brother John, have also volunteered with Team River Runner teaching disabled veterans how to kayak.
Because she was not able to attend Brandy penned this letter for all of us on the trip and had Jenny read it to us. There are some chords in this that really hit home for me and I plan to write about a few of the items. For now here is the letter in its entirety and I hope it inspires others the way it inspired me!
Welcome to my church.
I was looking forward to sharing this experience with you, but for reasons outside of my immediate control I can’t be there. Instead you get a random list of things I wish I could say to you in person.
- For this trip your home is on your shoulders (or in your boat) and your family is who you’re with.
- There is simple pleasure in filtering water.
- Ponderosa pine tree bark smells like vanilla. Can you find one?
- Celebrate being off-line.
- High altitude farts are a real phenomenon. Use them to propel you on the trail when you’re tired.
- Take extra time to look at the stars when you get up to go pee in the middle of the night.
- Wind can suck, but it keeps the bugs down and at certain speeds it sounds beautiful blowing through the trees.
- Feel the temperature of the rocks.
- Someone please do a cartwheel in a meadow for me. Extra credit for photo documentation.
- Go on your own trip and be your authentic self. Talk when you want and sit in silence when it feels right… but be sure to give Matt and Tim a hard time for me.
With love and gratitude,