October 10, 2014-No Barriers Grand Canyon Expedition Reflection

Some of you know I celebrated my birthday in the Grand Canyon during our No Barriers expedition. What an amazing place to have a birthday party. That night, the team gave me some very meaningful gifts. Rob Raker laid out an exhibit with crazily-shaped pieces of drift wood he’d been carefully collecting throughout the journey; one piece felt like an old man’s staff , another like a bent arm and another like a cello.

After that we sat in a circle singing and playing the drums, guitars, and shakers brought by our band leader, Timmy O’Neill. The acoustics of music bouncing off the canyon walls was a treat for the blind. And lastly, Katie Proctor, one of our AZRA leaders, wrote a heart-felt poem that speaks poignantly to the No Barriers message of our adventure together. The poem was surrounded by artwork of the canyon done by Seth Dahl, one of Lonnie’s guide. My wife says it’s absolutely beautiful. The boils, often the worst when least expected, represented the unpredictability and hardship on the expedition. The canyon walls, massive and confining, forced us into some of our greatest challenges, like Lava Falls. In many ways, the Grand Canyon uniquely captures, in reality and metaphorically, the journey to live a No Barriers Life.

I’m sharing it with you here:

Some say seeing is believing.

But I’ve been a witness.

To truth being felt.

The unseen is understood when experienced.

The open-heart policy.

Paddle in hand.

Each stroke leaving a wake of inspiration behind like currents expanding out to distant shores.

You will never know the magnitude of their impression.

The momentum of possibility.

You will not be eddied out in your quest for experiencing the fullness of current.

Strange how having the courage to live from a place of nonsense can lead to the living of your wildest dreams.

Through the journey, children will ask you about faith.

Just trust and ah……give it a whirl.

Heart thumping.

Waves crashing.

Soul smiling.

Barriers dissolved under a star bear sky.

–Katie Proctor