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Some words to our students’ loved ones

Dear loved ones of our Dragons group,

As we finish our mid-course gathering, among the mountains, trees, and plains of Southwest Colorado, we each have a lot to look back on and consider.

You, who have supported someone in our group, who maybe encouraged them, who maybe is now following along on their travels from the laptop or smartphone in front of you– You have an incredible human being in your life.

Know that your loved one is an adventurer, a thinker, and questioner.  They are passionate, and overflowing with potential.  They are full of life, joy, and humor.  I have seen them laugh, and perhaps cry, moved when confronting the injustice and neglect in this world, or just moving through the challenges of a brave and complex life.

Please understand that your loved one is a good friend to someone new. They are a co-creator of a new community among their peers.  They are welcoming. They are kind. They are supportive of other precious human beings, giving them strength or just giving them some of their personal snack, sharing their big thoughts and questions, or just sharing their unguarded, silly jokes.  They are currently in the company of other incredible young human beings.  They are teachers and examples, for one another, and even for their instructors.

What’s more, your loved one is also an inspiration.  Your loved one has met incredible individuals, who work to save seeds, protect wildlife, bring humanity back to our struggling world, tell the unheard stories of the past and present, and protect the land and water of our future.  The people our group has had the honor of meeting are people who have done great things.  And yet, these amazing contacts have consistently told us that your loved ones give THEM hope.  That your loved ones make them more confident about the future.  That the individuals in this group are exceptional.  I am inclined to agree.

This loved one of yours is a true learner, a person who grows and is changed by how they’ve connected to their many recent experiences.  They are fortunate to have your support, and you are fortunate to have them.  And, as an instructor, I feel fortunate too, and full of gratitude for these invaluable individuals.  We look forward to the next half of our journey together.