Nevada Community School
(Portion of letter re-printed with author's permission.)
Hi, Jesse - I'm at my computer listening to the thunder and rain outside my window and reflecting on our wonderful days together. The children were still buzzing today about you and your message. I was with a group of students who didn't hear your talk but saw you walking in the hallway with your gear. I spoke about you, your dream, your message; they were so attentive. I know they'd love to meet you, too! I promised them I'd get a copy of your book to their middle school library and let them know when it is available. I stopped by Kedra's class after school (the young teacher with the two children who teaches 1st and 2nd grade kids) and she already had displayed the pictures she took (she'll send you a copy). She said she had children write more about your visit than any other experience they'd had this year. I got goosebumps! When I told our principal about the connection the students made between you and their math problems, she teared up. Her comment was, "I don't know where you found him, but I'm sure glad you did. I've never seen the kids more enthralled. He gave them so much hope." So . . . whatever is next, your walk has already made a difference in the world............ once again, thank you for taking the time and energy to come to Nevada, Iowa, and share your journey (both walk and life) with us. Love, Judy
Days move past too quickly. The school in Iowa is already behind me, and I have more faces to miss. If there was one element, one thought that I hoped to give to the Nevada students it was the ability to believe in whatever unique dream that lands on their immature shoulders, blooms in their minds, and the courage to embrace it...no, the permission to embrace it. If I have given hope to even one student, that whatever can be dreampt can be lived, then I am thrilled. I received as much as I recieved. Maybe more. Now with the physical journey behind me, it is easy to forget the pulse of the walk...if I allow time to take its toll and fail to do my homework of writing the book so much will be lost.
There is nothing like a school full of energetic inquisitive students to remind me what really matters. I don't usually run to adults to hear about the magic and passions of life, and to see an electric gleam behind the eyes. Children want to know that Huckleberry Finn is real, and there still is a place Where The Wild Things Are, that the whole planet isn't plastic and domesticated behind barb wire and regulations (that succumb to even more laws daily) . Sitting here all day at the computer is easier Now...because I see more clearly that it has mattered to you.