As a kid I loved many things; fossils and Indiana Jones among them. I would often run around pretending to dig through the earth or ancient ruins and find some small treasure buried for millions of years away from the eyes of human beings. I've walked on beaches in Charleston since I first moved here, scanning the sand for shark teeth, always falling short, never spotting the curved lines of the predator's relic I craved holding.
39 has proven to be the year when my childhood dreams come true. I have started making a living as a writer and I have now found shark teeth by digging in the earth and exploring. It is safe to say that 5 year old me thinks 39 year old me is amazing.
This opportunity came from Lenny Fly, one of my Original 100 Connections and a good friend. At the time he proposed this outing I was well bogged down with meetings in coffee shops and business stuff, the things that my heart sincerely rages against past a certain point. It is my nature to love an adventure, but also in that same nature to understand that adventures can often be closer than we think.
It's also no secret that January was a difficult month for my mental heath. A number of things had collided in a sort of perfect storm and I was honestly hurting. These are the times I used to hide, to deny they were happening and put on the face that everything was fine. I have learned to put myself out there more, to trust in the people who care.
Lenny cared. So he reached out and we set up a time to go find some sharks teeth and fossils in the creeks of Summerville, SC on a day in February where the sun was shining and the weather was beautiful. 5 year old Matt was jumping for joy, so was 39 year old Matt.
When we first connected, my friend dropped some incredible wisdom on me; that when we are living our truth we are the most powerful person in the room. That struck deep and found its way to the very core of my being, becoming a truth I hold onto day after day. It gave me the courage to continue down an uncertain road even after the initial 100 Connections had been made, their stories told. My new company, my relationship with Mary Ann, my continued writing and teaching; so much is owed to this nugget dropped by Lenny during our first meeting.
Now he tells me about his resolve to have it all. Not in terms of toys or gadgets, but in terms of a fulfilling life, a truly blessed and wonderful existence. Lenny has set his resolve to continuing his improvement as a person, to building a life for him, for his family, for his friends. He tells me that you can have it all, it just takes a lot of work. We are knee deep in the creek, with pockets full of river rocks, bones and shark teeth when he tells me this.
Wisdom takes on an incredible beauty the shade of the place in the world where it was discovered.
Lenny and I have both been down some rough roads, some true trials in life. I know that neither of us suffers a lack of smiles or cries, but we are also dreamers, creators, builders. Whatever bad road we have been down, we will make the road we move on for the future better.
Lenny and I are warriors. For us there is honor in struggle, in fighting when the odds seem too high or we are told it is impossible. This moment, in this creek, sifting sand and running our fingers over debris in search of hidden treasures is our respite. A moment from the battles we are both in right now to take time and share it with a brother.
As we walk back to our cars, moving carefully through the water and up the banks, we tell stories. Stories are our only real currency as human beings, the only thing we can truly trade in. Money, while convenient and necessary, is but a pale trifle when compared to the moments of a human life. We talk of odd moments, of the things we think of as coincidence which are actually those divine sparks in our life when two lines cross close enough to one another to recognize one another then collide in brilliance.
At our cars we laugh a bit more and talk about the next time we meet. We talk about faith and the future, about the joy in hunting a few sharks teeth with a brother on a winter's day. I get back into my car, Lenny into his, and we move back into the world, back onto our own battlefields.
We have rested long enough, we are warriors and we have wars to win.