July 24, 2015, Prescott- I had little time, this morning, to ponder the title question, as there was an urgent service event taking place, from 9- 1. About forty of us gathered in the assembly hall of United Methodist Church, to fill backpacks for students from grades K-12. School supplies, as many are aware, are a major expense for households and we were fortunate to have over $ 1,000.00 worth, from backpacks to pencils, donated for distribution, both by individuals and companies. In addition, several hundred books were donated, by various corporations. Half the group were us Baha’is, which further gratified me.
It is a lovely season, here in central Arizona. I will have some time, before school starts, to help where needed with the Red Cross and Yavapai County Angels. These opportunities will, of course, be available during the year, as well, though I will be also about the business of replenishing my resources.
Some have gotten the notion that I am primarily just a guy who runs hither and thither, photographing people, places and things, visiting historical sites and hiking mountains, canyons and beaches. That is part of who I am, but it can hardly stand alone, in anyone’s life. Indeed, except for about a dozen close friends, most of the people I have met this summer will not give me much thought, and several, I may never see again. That doesn’t make the experiences any less memorable. I will treasure each day spent in Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, British Columbia and Alaska- just as I treasure each day here.
A friend spoke recently of “destination addiction.” I remember, years ago, reading of a man from Italy, who had not been home in ten years, and had been so many places, with so little time to absorb each new experience, that he snapped, and was in the care of the Libyan National Police, spending his days staring into space, and mumbling. Such a fate could not be more terrifying.
I will leave Yavapai County only once in August, to visit some long-lost friends in Hopi, an indigenous area about 100 miles northeast of Flagstaff. Fall might afford some hiking opportunities, here and there- but not more than a day’s drive from base. The Christmas and New Year holidays will find me visiting family, but as an independent member of the brood. I find I am altogether more settled, as many would expect, after four years of rather frenetic road trips and a European jaunt.
They have taught me, though, that I am a worthwhile person, that I can survive on my own, that I can make mistakes in my relationships with others, sometimes dreadful ones, and recover, with a major lesson learned. I don’t need everyone’s approval, and there were a couple of people on the road, this summer, who made it clear that I was far from welcome to visit them. That was fine, because there were a vast number of others who were glad for my presence. I take advantage of no one, and no one takes advantage of me.