The sun has risen, and begins to break through in these woods. These tall firs lace the morning air with a fresh sweetness. Gratitude is here.

October 12th, 2013, 9am

I certainly never thought I could do this on my own. And coming from a profession that thrives on (and celebrates) the adversarial, I did not expect the kindness I found. So I stand in this life, overwhelmed (when I allow it) by my good fortune in all of this. You are looking at a glorious fall day, where thoughts of gratitude are as easy as my next breath. Sunshine and warmth, that feels like we’ve stolen something, are in abundance this fresh October morning.

I can hear Little Rouge Creek from where I stand. It is not far in this picture, just up ahead and down a steep bank the kids love to scramble along. I stop walking to quiet the crunch of fallen, rust coloured leaves beneath my trail shoes. I just want to hear the gentle rush of water over rocks. Can’t help but smile. I inhale the whole of October and I am on my way.

There is not another soul about (that I can see), but I have others with me. Here, now, a moment of gratitude for five people, all once strangers (save one), I now count as friends, who have helped make this journey possible. Generous and open-hearted, they met me where I was. Believed me. My dream now unfolding, though I sometimes doubt, because others showed me that I wasn’t alone in this. It still amazes me, comforts.

D. J. C. V. T.

Thank you.

David Wade, Cassie, Jack and Craig said thanks.

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Mark Yearwood

Can a man remake his life? In the woods, no less? I am trying.

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