"If you have an apple, and I have an apple and we exchange apples then we both still have one apple. If you have an idea, and I have an idea and we exchange ideas then we both have two ideas." George Bernard Shaw

Friday, November 8, 2013


     Wonder. Awe. Marvel.  These are just a few words I could use to describe one of my favorite feelings.  And yet I am not sure that any of them really capture the spirit of what I feel.  I hope that through the words I share here that you can capture something of the vision I have.
     If I were to choose a beginning to this particular story I suppose the best place to start would be in the summer of 2011.  The feeling of course goes back much further than that and I may have even contemplated it before, but that summer had a few experiences that make it as good a time as any to start.  I worked at Island Park Scout Camp that summer.  I was the director of the Trail to Eagle,which was designed to help scouts complete their first few ranks through 1st class.  As part of my assignment I had to teach the scouts a large variety of skills.  The one pertinent to this story was that of plant identification.  It was during that time that I started to really appreciate the wide variety and beauty of nature.  Lord Baden Powell summed it up wonderfully in a farewell letter to the scouts of the world that was published after his death. "Nature study will show you how full of beautiful and wonderful things God has made the world for you to enjoy.   Be contented with what you have got and make the best of it.   Look on the bright side of things instead of the gloomy one."  I had the opportunity to read that as part of our honor trail at the camp.  I made a goal to study nature more and learn to identify more plants.  I have not learned any more plants since that time, but I try to be more conscious of the world as I go throughout my day.  At any rate it started a way of approaching life that I do my best to live to this day.
     I wish I could say that there was an immediate change in my life after that summer, but the next several months turned out to be a very dark time for me and the seed lay dormant.  When I began to come out of the darkness and back into the light, I decided I wanted to make changes in my life; I didn't want to be the same person I had been.  I wanted to live a fuller life and see just how far I could go.  In truth I had had similar thoughts in many periods of my life, but after having been very nearly destroyed I had a unique opportunity to rebuild myself.  I simply felt that I was capable of doing amazing things with my life and I didn't want to lose any opportunities because I wasn't living my life in a way to take advantage of them.
     In the spring of 2013 I took an institute class in which my teacher taught us that we should live our lives' in crescendo.  In life we are either improving or we are declining; there is no stagnation.  We should live each day a little better than the one before.  The lessons he taught about living in crescendo that semester resonated with me in a way few things had.  I wanted to become all that God intended me to be.  I wanted to live my life in such a way that nothing could hinder my progression, and that would enable me to recieve every blessing my Heavenly Father had in store for me.
     I began to see the world through new eyes, partly because I was laying aside anything that would hinder my spirit and partly because I was making a determined effort to see and experience all the amazing things this world has to offer.  The best word I can find to describe what I felt is "wonder".  It's the feeling I get when I learn something new and I become totally immersed  in what I'm studying, and I just can't stop; When I take time to really admire the beauty of creation; the range of emotions that good music can inspire; the feeling when some beautiful divine truth is made manifest in a new way.
     I can't very well describe that feeling, but it makes me feel as if nothing is impossible; as if I'm not even in this world and my spirit yearns to leave mortal bounds and go onward to infinite.  It's a feeling of pure joy and exhilaration; one of not being weighed down by anything.  I crave that feeling.  I don't always do things that let me feel it, and sometimes I let it get lost in the hustle and bustle of living.
     I wish I could find some way to let you inside my head and show you what I want to say.  As hard as I try I can find no words that don't feel like an injustice.  Although I cannot express my thoughts adequately, I may be successful if you feel something inside you that you also cannot express, but that you recognize.  It's something that we all feel at times in our lives, but that we often miss because we aren't looking for it.  Please, live in crescendo, look for the wonder in life, grab life by the horns or however you want to say it.  Don't let anything stop you.  Set your spirit free and let it fly.