A moment of what some would call silence.
We heard everything but silence.
To us it was a lively few seconds. We all sat perfectly still and let our eyes rest where they may. Our hearing heightened and we listened intently to the precious world around us. Every leaf made a rhythm, every bird a melody, each breath a comfort and every stone a whisper as the water flowed onward. Our minds took in this symphony.
We realized that these seconds are fleeting and know how precious they are.
It is a beautiful thing to be surrounded by those who think like you in times like this. People who know you through and through. Who know how to hold you just right, know what to say, or that have the look that says all.
The Outdoor Program family gathered today to celebrate the life of Greg Hawkins.
Those blue eyes. They would simply dance when the mention of an adventure came into conversation. Greg was a loving man who knew the value of being true to himself and enjoying the simplicity of being outside. Being inside, in an office, with a computer was a stress. The man was created to be out; in a boat, on a bike, in the hills. Wherever the day would take him, he desired to be out. Nearly every day I see a sign in his old office saying, “Be sure to get outside today.” This is such a sound piece of advice and it makes me so happy.
One of the last things we talked about was his desire to set his student staff up for opportunity. To give us experiences that would make us better, more qualified, and allow for us to get outside doing what we love. How is it that a man can love that much? How is it that when all going gets tough, the first thing out of his mouth is his hope to support others? That smile would spread across his face. He lit up by the idea of creating chance for students to explore recreational education. This warms my heart.
Greg Hawkins was a funny guy. He was animated in spirit and flesh. He loved sharing stories and interacting with those around. He worked extremely hard and with endless passion. Greg’s energy flowed out to all who were around.
Today, as we all lined the bridge and dropped our message rocks into the flow of water below, my heart went out. The kind of ‘out’ that Greg lived for. The outside where our hearts are intended to be. I feel Greg on my soul nearly every day. He reminds me to always say thanks, smile at the sun, enjoy time with friends, and pursue the passion that makes my heart sing.
Greg, you are with us all and live on in spirit. Enjoy time with the pup, Cletus, and keep smiling that face-wide smile. May your happiness flow as long as the river runs.
Rest easy friend.