TDD: I have to know about the big dipper on your foot!

When I was 20-21, I lived in a Quaker community in northern California. I was an intern for an intensive high school semester program that focused on peace, social justice, and environmental sustainability (with a heavy dose of wilderness exploration and garden-to-kitchen-to-plate experience as well). Students, teachers, and community members lived together on 200 beautiful acres in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. There is so much more to this experience to talk about, but it completely tilted my world on its axis and I’ve been merrily tilted ever since.

The big dipper is for a multitude of reasons, but here are a few. I grew up in the I-495 corridor between Baltimore and DC; I had never seen stars so bright. I was fascinated. Near the end of my internship, I started contemplating a tattoo to commemorate the experience — I had never wanted one previously and strongly doubt I will ever get another. At that time of the year, the big dipper constellation was directly overhead of the house I was living in. At night, it served as my guide toward home.

It guides me still, but in different way: how empowered the experience made me feel, and to always remember and never forget.