1. Opera Houses & White Horses

             

     A real writer once told me that the only way to develop a character towards resolution was the introduction of conflict into the narrative. Two months ago I could have never anticipated the opening lines of this chapter of my life to be filled with such revelation, meaning, and adventure and to have it play out in such a beautiful land is merely the grace of God.  As for the conflict I’m slowly coming to realize that God’s grace comes in the most unlikely vehicles and will often barge in on us when we are at our best and worst demanding total surrender in either occasion.  It’s only when this surrender of control and the total sum of the character’s will is yielded over to the author to do as He wishes does the true intent of the story begin to unfold…

             It’s been over two months since the wheels of my plane touched down on the tarmac of Sydney Kingsford International but in many ways I feel as if I haven’t truly landed yet. So much of this life is spent trying to communicate emotions, describe events, and have others better understand where we are coming from. Often during that exchange something remains uncommunicated and can’t quite be explained in full detail with the true weight or original purpose that the communicator seeks to convey no matter how genuinely he or she may try. Having spent thirty-eight days traveling the New Zealand countryside intent on exploring the vastness of creation while often in the company of no one but the creator himself. I would have to say New Zealand will forever remain a chapter of my life that is marked by grace and leave me striving to find larger words to articulate the impact that it has had on me as an individual. That impact has undoubtedly had a large influence on many of the decisions that I have made thus far in my life in Sydney. Truth be told heading into New Zealand I was intent on sitting before the Lord and letting him speak into my life and if you were to really press me before my departure I probably could have given you a few topics I would have expected him to touch on during my pilgrimage of sorts. What I imagined was that he would revisit many of “Tyler’s Greatest Hits” including the classics of  pride,idolatry,shame, and the my all time number one hit single insecurity.(sorry got carried away with that last analogy) As He tends to do so often God spoke very deliberately into specific areas that I have vainly attempted to concealed with  sheer busyness, youthful ambition, and sadly false humility. I begun this journey with a nagging pull towards Sydney knowing quite well that for some indiscernible reason I was meant for this place in this time and even when written out plainly on paper in pros and cons the pull was too strong to avoid the leap towards the southern hemisphere. As I begin to find my stride in Sydney and life takes hold with all its menial appointments and comings and goings I can’t seem to escape from this sense of purpose and true intent for this season of my life. After a few restless weeks my newfound sense of optimism slowly gave way to doubt, confusion, isolation, and ultimately resolving in complete surrender. I find that it is in these moments of true surrender, that which is often a still small voice becomes a thunderous shout. A transition has begun within me one that I can’t quite put into words just yet and to be honest may never be able to. For now I’m just fine with that. One thing I do have is a deep unexplainable peace about this season, my purpose which of course is to proclaim the glory of God revealed to man through the gospel of Christ. I may not have a pulpit just yet or the seminary degree to back my ministry but I am certain that I been beckoned to come and die. It is my earnest hope that through my death, His life might be made that much more glorious. In God’s graciousness I’ve had the distinct privilege of becoming apart of a beautiful missional community at a budding new church plant “White Horse Church.” I wish I could put into words what White Horse is but after typing and erasing this sentence three times I feel that their mission statement best sums up the heart behind WHC…With.For.Because.About.Jesus. After meeting with the lead pastor for a burger and three hours of discussion ranging from hermeneutics to urban-missional strategies I stood up thanked him for making time for me, slung my bag over my should and began to quietly weep joyful tears of gratitude as I walked home feeling for the first time that the long messy road from Rochester to Sydney made sense. That it was all worth it. 

      So here I stand half a world. Another new beginning…chasing that still small voice till once more it becomes a thunderous shout.

         

     
  2. Mat Kearney singing about my hometown that I miss dearly…makes me pine for summer nights driving around down by Lake Ontario letting the heavy warm air pass through my hair. It makes me miss home.

     
  3. 4th and 43°36’S 170°09’E

                                                       

              

               

     

           I know this sound…how I’m not sure but I know quite well that this is the distinct sound of clinking beer bottles that have woken me up from a dead sleep. I unzip my sleeping bag and turn over trying desperately to drown out the drunken cackling of the token loud girl giving her opinions on everything from love and war while seemingly making it a point to pepper in the phrase “like you know” ever third sentence. With one pull of a drawstring I manage to silence this nonsense as I thank God for the 900 goose down count of my sleeping bag that has taken on a unique smell as of the past few weeks. My iPhone’s alarm breaks the silence of the early morning hours which has me cramming all my belongings quite loudly into my backpack with no regard for my hung over companions strewn about the beds of this low budget hostel still fully dressed and smelling of stale beer. I creak down the wooden steps and out into the cool morning air down a long ivy walled walk way dawning a fresh coat of frost making each step towards the rental car center deliberate and cautious. With the swipe of my credit card and a few words of wisdom about driving on the left side of the road (i.e. the wrong side) I was now the proud temporary owner of a 2002 Nissan Sunny.

               

              Little did the rental car guy know what kind of use I truly intended to squeeze out of my two-day rental. After chasing down my nerves with some overpriced gas station coffee I pull into the left lane and through my first round about which is all the reason I needed for a small celebration of sorts giving me just enough time to see the Tasman sea and the quaint town of nelson fade out of view in my rearview window. As the km begin to tick off of the odometer I begin to gain my confidence on the road and begin to welcome in the long sweeping turns of the mountain passes. Driving on the left isn’t so much the biggest challenge of traversing this awe-inspiring stretch of highway so much as the dramatic scenery that seemingly fills every visible square inch of my windshield. As my car barrels south into the enormity of the central Canterbury plains I strain my neck every minute or so to drink in the beauty of the snow capped peaks of the Alps that divide this great isle acting as a backbone of sorts and in my opinion the only one hearty enough to hold together a land as rugged and truly wild as this. The hours tick away as due the kilometers and with the soft,stern, at times painful but hopeful voice of Johnny Cash egging me on I continue on for hours truly lost somewhere in between day-dream and some new form of reality that my heart and mind can’t quite handle just yet. Cutting up and through one last mountain pass I aim the cars old tires down a long gravel road that lines Lake Tekapo just as the sun is ducking away over range farthest west leaving me to think how it’s warmth will be enjoyed by those I love living a hemisphere away and two seasons ahead. I claim my room key for the night and much to my surprise the room is quite warm and will be shared by only one other traveler. A young Irish agriculture student named Padraig but insists that Patrick is easier for those not familiar with Gaelic. After discussing both of our travels thus far and trying as we may to convey to each other the beauty that we had both taken in the past few hours we began to get on the topic of faith. Quite candidly and with the honestly and sincerity of an Irishman he confesses that he’s on a journey towards truth. I squelch my desires to steer the conversation and simply listen. Listen to his heart and the yearning for a reality and a surety that only a faith laid in Christ can bring. We talk into the late hours of the night and after hearing how much he feels that the heart is imperative to life, I reach into my backpack and give him my copy of John Elderidge’s “Waking the Dead” which is a wellspring for this kind of search. In the morning I make my goodbyes with Patrick and disengage the parking break of the Sunny and as the date on the morning newspaper at the local cafes suggests it is the 4th of July and I intend on truly celebrating liberty and freedom even if I’ am thousands of miles away from home. The large brown sign just visible from the coffee shop window claims that Mt. Cook/Aoraki “cloud piercer” is 58 km away and with a warm cup of coffee in one hand I turn the wheel south towards this mountain that has captured my imagination from first glance two years ago. Like a child anxiously counting the hours till Christmas I sit perched on the edge of the drivers seat as I approach the first vantage point offering a vista that would make any true lover of nature blush.

        

      The next four hours are spent slowly driving to the base of this Alpine playground where I leave the car behind and set off down the trail. What transpires over the rest of the day is something that I want to keep close to my heart and must be shared over a cup of coffee or told in great detail with close friends. To make an attempt to convey it in text would certainly result in a cheapening of sorts. For now I will let a few pictures tell the story and ask me to share it with you next time we sit down and talk…

             

         With grogginess resting heavy in my eyes and with a keen sense of “this is the type of moment that embodies living” resting easy on my chest I wind upwards along the east coast letting the cool morning air stained with fresh salt smell flood through my windows and blanket me. Off to my right the sun begins to make it’s first appearance on the distant horizon, I welcome the warmth of it’s rays on my arm as my hand knifes through the heavy morning air with the same grace of the sea birds that are diving for their morning catch in the distance. Upon topping off the gas tank of my sunny I drop it back off at the rental center a bit muddy in spots and 1,400 km’s wiser. I sling my bag over my shoulder and board once more the deck of the interislander ferry and breath deeply holding in the cool, clean air believing that I will be better for having lived this part of my story…

             

         

            

     
  4. Riwaka

          

          Stepping off of the ferry into the crisp winter air that blankets the valley floors of New Zealand’s much more rugged southern Island I can’t help but smile as memories begin to flood my mind. The kind of memories that you tuck away for the hard days, the times you feel like your going through the motions as if your slowly drifting through life with all its predictability and routines dulling your edges leaving you numb to beauty, emotion, and the spirit of God. As I travel south towards my destination for the night I fall into a trance like state, my gaze transfixed out the window to the west as what’s left of the evening sun dances off of the Tasman sea as if it was composed of millions of precious jewels. While lost in this most welcomed late day dream I fail to mention where to have the bus driver drop me off which leaves me hitching my bags a kilometer or two around the sleepy little (60 people or so) farming town of Riwaka. I round the corner up the crushed stone drive of Eden’s Edge Backpackers owned and operated by my dear friends Chris & Liz Salt. After some inspection of the immaculate premises I finely locate Chris who is busily typing away on his up coming book that I strongly encourage you to get your hands on. I rap on the window to notify Chris of my arrival and after some catching up and reminiscing over tea we are joined by all 13 members of the Real-Life team and Rob on their way back up to El Rancho. It’s encouraging to see students from “the states” reaching out to the Kiwi people who are desperate to find truth and meaning. The next day after seeing the team off as they journey north towards El Rancho.

                  I begin to plan out my next escapade which has me heading back to the world famous Able Tasman national park. After acquiring some food and more fuel for my camp stove I set off down the trail as it winds up, over, and through the dense coastal forests that cover the majority of this three-day walk. Hour after hour, kilometer after kilometer I grow in appreciation for this opportunity to immerse myself in this enchanting landscape. The diversity of the terrain in this park alone is such that it has to be seen to truly be believed. Each day I cover roughly twenty-four Kilometers before reaching backcountry huts built to comfortably sleep thirty so or more only to find that I will be the nights only occupant.Being winter here means that the sun sets shortly after five leaving me with just an hour of precious sunlight to chop wood and start a fire before I begin to cook my dinner in the pale light of my headlamp. Dinner is something that most of my late afternoon mental energy is given too and is readily eaten sitting Indian style on the floor in the glow and warmth of the crackling fire leaving it to feel like some rudimentary version of a TV dinner. I spend the nights sitting by the fire with a book in hand slowly progressing paragraph to paragraph through the complex words of C.S. Lewis and Dallas Willard, occasionally looking up from my book to put another log on the fire. After some journaling and working out some of those questions I have been asking I find myself camped out in the books of Luke & Nehemiah. I throw down my sleeping bag at the foot of fire and quickly drift of to sleep with the words of Jesus’ sermon on the mount blanketing my heart and mind. After forty or so more Kilometers, a nasty burn on my hand from feeding the wood stove half asleep in the night and dredging over barren beaches, across sprawling bays in low tide and traversing swing bridges stretched over rushing mountain streams I find myself back at the start of the track in desperate need of a shower, a cup of coffee and dying to check facebook. (sad but true)

             

    The next couple of days I spent some quality time with Chris and Liz doing some yard work breaking now and then to discuss our futures in ministry over tea on their magnificent wrap around porch with it’s amazing view of the Kahurangi mountain range. Just as I had begun to settle into my routine of morning runs through this quaint farming community and early afternoon prayer walks to the corner coffee shop I begin to feel the pull on my heart again  spurring it on further south to get lost in mist of the truly wild beauty of the southern alps. Tomorrow I will pick up a rental car that I will have for the next two days and my plan is to take in a sunrise from Mt. John known best for it’s world class star gazing and splendid view of the vividly turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo. Lord willing if I survive driving on the left side of the road I will spend my 4th of July at the foot of Mt. Cook, New Zealand’s largest and most grandiose mountain and by night fall I intend to be soaking in a hot pool in Kaikuroa before catching the ferry back north on the 5th as I head back to my old stomping grounds El Rancho. I have to admit I have learned a lot thus far in my travels and it’s not been easy at times. I have come face to face with sin in my life and heart that needed to be dealt with put to death. Jesus continues to be nothing but gracious and loving in the way he has gently pruned these things from my life leaving me better prepared to begin this next season of my life.  But for now I’m loving the journey as each morning brings hope and each night has me speechless with thankfulness. Soli Deo Gloria

          

          Don’t Waste Your Life,

                                              Tyler 

     
  5. New Roads…

             

        It’s been quite sometime since my last post and for that I apologize. Although I assure you it was wasn’t for a lack of desire to write but merely a constant battle I wage in trying to convey the seer beauty of a place, it’s people and a sincere desire not to spoil it’s quietness with my words. In many ways since we last spoke (not sure who I’m talking too) a lot has transpired from ongoing El Rancho adventures to deep soul shifting prayer walks with God on the Kapiti Coast, seeing a movie by myself and yet again reacquainting myself with all the charms of hostels.

                

                

         How quickly my days have gone from being lived out behind the Genius bar, or if not there on a friends couch taking in yet another movie, under the Java’s veranda enjoying a cup of coffee as plums of pipe smoke rise from heartfelt conversations with friends and faces I miss dearly, the names and settings of my life have quickly changed. Albeit for a season but it’s a strange thing to cope with as now my days are played out in an ever changing landscape, suddenly I am the one “not from around here” sporting an accent  that yields inquisitive looks. A simple stroll through a busy city street amongst thousands of faces leaves you puzzled as it dawns on you that you won’t recognize a single one among the masses each with a story of their own. But that is what God has in store for me in this chapter of my story and so with each new day I welcome in the almost palatable sense of the unknown that hangs in the air. I never pictured myself sitting in a boys flat around the warmth of a wood burning stove discussing the cultural differences of our homelands with a Russian, two Germans, and couple of Kiwi’s. Nor could I have predicted that a very rare Emperor Penguin from Antarctica having had swam 6,000 K in the wrong direction to wash up on our local beach? No but for me that was a Thursday. Seen here below is my new mate (yes I’m using that word now, but trust me I won’t bring it home wouldn’t want to be that guy) Peter who is a bit of a mystery in himself overjoyed to be in the flightless birds presence.

             

             

        My hours are now often spent with a camping cup in hand full of budget tea sitting over a good book before pushing once again back out into a street that I have yet to ever walk down. I have a lot of questions that I am asking at the moment, big ones the sort of questions that shape a life. I’m not quite sure of the answers just yet. But as I sit here on a ferry as it pitches and sways through the surging late morning tides of the cook straight what I do know is what kind of legacy I want to leave. What kind of humility I yearn for as unlike ever before I am made keenly aware of just how much I have to learn of the timeless mystery of Grace…

     
  6. El Rancho

    …I you have ever woken up out of a dead sleep in the middle of the night just to completly question where you are then you have the slightest idea of what it’s like to travel alone with virtually no plans. You truly haven’t lived until you have shared a room roughly the size of your average middle class family’s master bedroom with ten other sweaty twenty somethings and if your lucky a creeper in their thirties. Drifting off to sleep becomes nearly impossible with a snoring German, a Canadian playing their headphones loud enough to have you questioning what Stevie Wonder song it is he’s listening too, while the British girl just below you on your bunk bed is shifting in her sleeping bag making it sound as if she was in a full blown wrestle off with a human size shopping bag. Anyways I say all this to give you a feel for what a hostel is like. It’s not all bad though to be honest and I will stay in many more to come. With bags in tow I hit the road south once more towards the little costal town of Waikanae, New Zealand where I have plans to meet a friend of a friend by the name of Rob Namba who happens to be the director of El Rancho, New Zealand’s only mexican themed christian camp, and come to think of it it may in fact be the only mexican themed camp on God’s green earth. From the second I met Rob I knew that this time and this place and the people that make up El Rancho were truly a gift from God in the truest since of the word. I arrived late on Wednesday and was graciously welcomed by both Rob,his family and 12 young American missionaries spending the summer in New Zealand working with Adventures in Missions. I quickly begun to get to know the students serving here and the amazing staff and volunteers that bring the life to El Rancho. The Real-lifers(missionaries) are kind enough to let me tag along with them as they head out into the community to share the love of Christ with those less fortunate. Twelve of us manage to pack into a camp van that seems suited for eight at best and head up one of the hundreds of hills claiming the land of this tiny city to one of the local Nursing homes to spend the afternoon with the elderly. After being ushered in by the primary care-taker we split into two teams and myself and five others are tasked with heading into the dementia wing to dance and entertain the patrons, and yes I said dance. We meander down a quaint little hallway with highly locked doors and all the smells and nuances one would come to expect of a nursing home. We enter a small end room and are greeted by at least 14 residents that seem despondent but somewhat happy to see a new face. One of the care takers informs them that they have guests from America that are hear to dance for and with them. Well upon inspection of the facilities sound system we discover that it holds with New Zealand’s reputation of being 15 years behind in technology and offers no ipod support leaving us to open our act of sorts with the cupid shuffle done to the quite drone of an iPod touch. I’m not sure if you have ever had the privilege to see six grown adults do the macarena silently for nearly eight minutes but let’s just say it’s something to consider adding to your bucket list. If I do say myself we left nothing on the dance floor that afternoon and gave the old folks a show to remember, which sadly I don’t think they will because several didn’t know their own names. After our stint in the dementia wing we reunited with the rest of the team and continued our tour of dance of with the rest of the residents. Followed by some lively mingling amongst some old Kiwi dames. On a whole it was one of the most genuinely enjoyable afternoons I have had in a long, long time. Sadly that night after a birthday party for one of the real-life racers that included a candle blowing scalp spontaneous combustion I parted ways with the 12 amazing students sacrificially giving of their time to serve as they departed for Christchurch after having been badly hit once more by the earthquakes that plague the region. The next fews days consisted of working through some of the things that God is doing in my life and heart and unpacking the implications of the call that I so strongly feel He has placed on my life. As I sit in reflection I can’t even begin to express the gratitude I feel for this place and the experiences that I have shared in here. From morning prayer runs on the stunning beach, to the quite moments with God over a cup of coffee, to dinners at Rob and Jen’s house complete with Wii bouts with their beautiful children, meaningful conversations over brew and pipes at Long beach, and countless other little blessings that will haunt my memories forever and the best part is it’s not even over leaving me welling up as I whisper through my sleeping bag to God staring up at the ceiling…”Thank you”

     
  7. Southward Bound…

          

         

         So last time I left you (not quite sure who I’m talking too?) I was all packed up and set to board a bus with my good friend George on our way to stretch the legs and climb Mt Ngauruhoe aka “Mt. Doom”.Well after packing all my gear and triple checking I had everything I need for a month of backpacking and tramping (hiking for you westerners) we begun our journey southward. For five hours the bus’s ample windows provided a great view of the New Zealand countryside I have missed so badly. The best way I can put it is that it’s much like all the good parts of the west coast shrunk down into two tiny Islands the size of Colorado. The terrain here is so diverse and you would be hard pressed to find a level piece of land anywhere so much so that the prime minister once described it  to resemble a rumpled blanket. Gradually the lush green hillsides give way to a much more rugged and almost lunar landscape as well began to approach our drop off point of Whakapapa (pronounced Fauckapapa which if not said correctly can get you a punch to the mouth)Along the way we managed to pick up another member for our expedition in the from of a 23 year-old med Student from Seattle name Alex. We set out from Whakapapa and begin our slog over and through the course volcanic landscape as the clouds and night closes in forcing us to resort to our headlamps after navigating for sometime in the moonlight. We arrive at the hut and quickly put on some Tea (dinner) as we begin to prepare for the challenge awaiting us tomorrow in the form of 7,556 ft of vertical gain.

            

      I am awoken by the sound of camping pots rattling around and after some exploration I discover it to be George making a cup of  morning tea. I gladly join him on the front porch, tea in hand as we quietly watch the morning sun slowly pull back the veil of clouds obscuring our view of the mountain dawning a fresh coat of snow from the night prior. With the mountain’s sheer size and awesomeness giving us all the motivation needed to gear up and start our trek we set out fully caffeinated in the massive shadow of the mountain. We climb up over and through the twists and turns of ancient lava fields recreating much of the final scenes of Lord of the Rings minus the melodramatic hobbit bromance. Being immersed in such beauty is a bit overwhelming and my neck is still sore from kinking it around constantly looking over my shoulder in anticipation of yet an even more awe inspiring vista. I managed to snap this picture of Mount Taranaki in the distance just before clouds reclaimed it.

               

              

    After sometime we begin our ascent towards the cloud and snow covered summit. Two hours of sheer climbing hand over fist up the steep sides of an ancient volcano leaves my thighs burning as if remembering my climb from two years past and hating me for making them endure it twice. We stop for a few breathers and arrive on the summit rim just in time to  take the obligatory summit photos. Mid photo session we begin to get socked in by clouds. The chill begins to set in on the top we begin to make our way down which is much faster and fun as well. We manage to skree slide (kinda like skiing but a bit more dangerous) down more than half the mountain to a chocolate bar with our names on it in waiting for us in George’s pack.   

             

                 

    Picking our bags back up we continue on through the amazing landscape for two more days which at times seems almost prehistoric leaving me have expecting to se a dinosaur around every bend. Hiking affords you a lot of time to think and pray which is exactly what I need at this point in my journey. My heart is full of questions and my head is a bit of a powder keg at the moment as the weight of my endeavors begin to settle in. I can’t seem to shake Colossians 3:15 “And Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts. To which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful” I let this sink into my soul and it’s weight is much more real than that of my backpack. My prayer for you and I is that we do this next chapter of our lives well and that we can look back and say that it was not wasted, and that greater things are still to be done… 

              

     
  8. Mt Ngauruhoe-7,565 ft

    Mt Ngauruhoe-7,565 ft

     
  9. Back in “The Land of the Long White Cloud”…

         After an hour of goodbyes in Rochester, two sprints through Newark and San Francisco, three middle seats, and 22 hours in the air I have arrive once again in New Zealand or as it’s also known by it’s natives “The Land of the Long White Cloud.” I arrived at 5:40 am local time and kindly picked up by my good friend George Booth. We caught up on the events of the past two years and while still in the car on the road to his home I was invited to go tramping/mountaineering (hiking for those who aren’t in the know) up Mt Ngauruhoe a dormant Volcano located in the center of New Zealand’s northern Island. Mt Ngauruhoe is most well known for being Mt. Doom in the Lord of the Rings Movies and I assure you at certain times on your way up both your back and your legs are more than willing to lend it that title. I have climbed this peak two years ago and expect it to be every bit challenging and inspiring. 

    George has been kind enough to let me off load some of my belongings at his place while I hitch south. I have begun to sort all my belongings and stocked up on supplies and have some great company via literature for the next thirty odd days.

     I am hopeful and eager as I begin to head south and know that God will have all sorts of surprises for me up His sleeve. My prayer for me and you is that we seize each day with a sense of childlike wonder at the miracle of life and grace. I feel incredibly fortunate to find myself in such a place as this and intend on not wasting it. I will be keeping your posted as this chapter in my story unfolds. I am definitely out of my comfort zone and it’s nice to be back to living out of a back pack….sweet as..till we talk again Grace and Peace…

     
  10. Don’t Waste It…

        I’m about to board a plane and it will take me faraway from all I deem normal and away from so many countless blessings and friends.I really don’t have the words…my mind is fried and yet my heart resonates with the words of one of my favorite authors Donald Miller. It’s been said that everything that is to be said has already been and probably better that you could have, so I leave with this more as a prayer for you an me as we set out on this next Adventure. 

    ….”life cannot be understood flat on a page. It has to be lived; a person has to get out of his head, has to fall in love, has to memorize poems, has to jump off bridges into rivers, has to stand in an empty desert and whisper sonnets under his breath:    

                        I’ll tell you how the sun rose

                       A ribbon at a time…

    It’s a living book, this life, it folds out in a million settings, cast with a billion beautiful characters, and it is almost over for you. It doesn’t matter how old you are; it is coming to a close quickly, and soon the credits will roll an all your friends will fold out at your funeral and drive back to their home in cold and still and silence. Then they will make a fire and pour some wine and think about how you once were…and feel a kind of sickness at the idea that you will never again will be. So soon you will be a part of the book you are holding the bulk of pages in your left hand and only a thin whips’ of a story in your right. You will know by the page count not by the narrative that the author is wrapping things up. You begin to mourn its ending and want to pace yourself slowly towards its closer, knowing the last lines will speak of something beautiful, of the end of something long and earned, and you hope things close out like last breaths, like whispers about how much and who the characters have come to love,and how authentic the sentiments feel when they have earned a hundred pages of qualification. Then so my prayer is that your story will have involved some leaving and some coming home, some summer and some winter, some roses blooming out like children in a play, my hope is that your story will be about changing about getting something beautiful born inside of you about learning to love a woman or a man about learning to love a child about moving yourself around water, around mountains, around friends, about learning to love others more than love ourselves, about learning oneness as a way of understanding God. We get one story you and I, and one story alone God has established the elements,the setting and the climax and the resolution. It would be a crime not to venture out wouldn’t it?”