In life and in nature there are concentric circles. Rings like those that emanate from an epicenter when you toss a pebble into the middle of a calm pond. These concentric rings are noticeable in the sounds of nature as people pass through an ecosystem, visible in the study of galaxies, stars, and planets, and visible also in the inner workings of society. There are people who can focus themselves into a discipline and dedicate their lives to a core study, an inner ring, these are the people that design spaceships, study medicine, build empires and global civilizations. Then there are others who serve the purposes developed to support those dedicated professions, these are the tradesmen, the service industry, the businessmen and women, and so on. These rings could be broken down infinitesimally but I’ll get to the point, that it comes to an outer ring, a diffuse layer of beings along an edge of space and society.
The outer ring, the first to make waves and try something radically different, the ones who are so far from the status quo that they don’t even acknowledge or understand how someone could follow a norm. Their vocabulary does not include normal. This is where I find myself. On the edge, not shrinking back and hoping to join the crowd at the middle, but rather hanging over the edge to see what’s out there, to look further into the void. This is where we find the explorers: Leif Ericson, Ferdinand Magellan, Henry Hudson, Jacques Cousteau, Neil Armstrong, Ernest Shackleton, Lewis and Clark, Jedediah Smith, Edmund Hillary, and so many more. In modern times we still have many, but with smaller territories to explore, they seem less known, although their feats are still quite impressive. Beyond all doubt the frozen feats of Lonnie Dupre, Eric Larsen, Justin Lichter, Shaun Forry, as well as thousands other thawed explorers in modern times are impressive and life-changing just as any ever were.
This outer ring of concentrism is where the focus on life changes, from building and refining in the center rings, to reaching out and discovering what else there is that we haven’t found yet among the outer rings. These people throughout history have learned new theories of the world, have found new breakthrough information and revolutionary ideas in nature’s forms. These are the ones who brought back the knowledge and shared it with the village elders and shamans who then distilled it into wisdom and through the stories and experiences of the explorers they were able to inform the tribes and villages of what else existed and how unknown the world really was. These explorers were, and still are to a great extent, some of society’s greatest informers and storytellers. These people simply have a need, a hunger, to discover and explore and to find new things, wherever they exist.
Throughout history, people have left their villages, countries, and societies to find something greater. What I had missed and overlooked for so long is society’s need for those explorers to return and share what they’ve experienced. In this realization, I find that it is noble to carry forth as an explorer and storyteller, connecting people and past with the present through exploration. Sharing the story of life with the world to the best of their abilities.
Throughout all my travels, I have not always been settled with my path. I have not always felt that I was contributing my best to society or serving an honorable cause. Yet realizing the importance of the traveling storyteller, there is a sense of peace settling in my heart. With the start of this new direction of inspiring stewardship for wild places, cultural connections, and a sense of place through storytelling and stewardship-based adventures, I feel that I have finally settled in my true place. A cozy niche along the edge of society and of my comfort zone. With gratitude and a humble heart I will go forth into some distant land and return to share the experience, the knowledge, and with any grace – the wisdom I discover along the journey.
Be well, stay strong.