i took a group of about 12 teenagers across the united states from north carolina to wyoming one summer about 7 years ago. we drove. it took 3 days. i must have been crazy. hehe. we were going to the arapaho indian reservation near riverton, wyoming. we spent a week living in a cathoic mission, painting & reparing homes, and playing with kids. all of the people we met were living without much hope or joy. to drown out their sorrows or to help them avoid the fact that they felt unloved, left behind, and were unemployed, they abused alcohol, drugs, and each other. and the kids on the reservation copied all the behaviors they saw. it was a tough week, that was full of amazing moments…
one night, after we had been to a pow wow (an traditional indian dance around a fire), i was sitting in the back of the van with some of the teenagers. a 15 year old boy turned to me and asked me my favorite color. i have no idea what i said. perhaps green or blue. and then , i asked him. and he replied that his favorite color was that – and he pointed out the window toward the pink, orange, yellow, red, blue, & purple sunset that was casting a magnificent glow over the distant mountains and empty prairies. he then explained that he has a different favorite color almost every day… based on what he sees in the world around him. what he saw on that night was more than beautiful colors, though. he saw beauty and life, even in the middle of one the most ugly, deserted, and forgotten places & people. he saw the beautiful sunset as a sign that there is always hope, even in the most hopeless situations. we can always find something to admire, if we simply open our eyes and our hearts. i am honored that i have had an opportunity to work with teenagers… they are inspiring and out of nowhere they reveal that they are deep, thoughtful, wonderful human beings with the potential to make a huge difference in their lives and in the world.
so, for the past 7 years, i have learned to open my eyes even more and to find the beautiful colors of each day and in every place. here are my favorites colors (found on the streets of sweden) today…
walking in our neighborhood this morning.
the square 2 blocks from us. spring is here!!!
people moving about as the morning starts.
look at these colors!!
peace to all.