This week we went to Yosemite! It's my favorite place in all the world, and I can't wait to take you on adventures there! It holds such a special place in my heart, and I hope you will love it as much as we all do. John Muir said, "Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul." Nature is where I go to refresh my soul. There's something about breathing in the mountain air, the smell of pine trees, climbing a mountain, lying along the river, standing in the middle of a valley surrounded by walls of granite and some of the tallest waterfalls in the world. You can't help but feel close to the heart of God and connected to humanity. I hope you are a nature lover, too, but I honestly don't think you'll have much of a choice, because it's in your blood.
Before we took off on our getaway, this week was the biggest week of the school year. We had our school wide exhibition called Festival del Sol. Our project this year was "Be the Change," where our students looked at local issues in their community and how they can make a difference. They arranged 9 guest speakers and 3 field trips, did fundraisers and collected food to support local non-profit organizations. Below is a photo of my team of students wearing our Be the Change t-shirts. This photo to me kind of sums up my twenties. My goal was simple, to try to figure out my place and how I can make a difference in this world, which ultimately led me to teaching, getting my master's degree in Peace and Justice Studies, coming back to teaching again, and having a major theme of my class be teaching youth about the world around them and how we can all make a difference in it. Mother Teresa said, "We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop," and I whole-heartedly believe that to be true. I'm not sure what my thirties will look like yet, but I know that I probably will not be quite as outwardly ambitious as I was in my twenties, because I plan to look inward a little more to my family and you, of course. I don't know exactly what shape my life will take as I become a mother, but I do know that this is a lesson I want to carry with me and instill in you. There are so many little and big ways we can make a difference in the world, and they are all worthwhile and important.
(This week's photo was taken at Inspiration Point as we drove into Yosemite.)