So Why Did I Stay?
There's not just one answer or even one that's most prominent.
I stayed for the moments.
The moments I spent under the stars with those I love.
The moments where frustration and anger took hold but let me
learn something from them.
The moments where I could be vulnerable and still know I'm
loved, cared for, and worthy.
I stayed for the moments of laughter.
Singing to songs with my girls on the way to a new adventure.
Slathering charcoal and clay on ourselves and making funny faces
or even just going outside and dancing in the rain.
I stayed for the connection.
Reading vulnerable poems and writings to each other and
feeling a communal sense of understanding.
Laying under the stars making friendship bracelets and talking
about things ranging from favorite colors to deepest fears.
Backpacking for23 miles and being able to come together at
the end of the day and be a family.
I stayed for curiosity.
Trying to find out what makes nature so meaningful... then
finding out in my own way.
Wondering what else I could learn from the blood, sweat, and
tears that my community, my family persevered through daily.
Wanting to know why emotions are so important finding out why,
and then wanting to experience them fully with those I love.
I also stayed for myself.
I stayed to experience what it was like to build a community and thrive in it.
I stayed to learn.
I stayed to grow with my loved ones.
I stayed so I could reflect on myself and to finally
get to the point where I can be who I am and be confident in that.
I also stayed to help.
To cry, laugh, and rant with the other clients.
The community at Juniper Canyon isn't made by a select few.
It's made with the continuing practices of love, support, guidance,
vulnerability, and authenticity.
While I came here with a heart at war, the past three months have sparked something in me. Whether it be laughing and singing around the campfire, close knit grateful circles, communal teeth brushing, hard to find lat tours, midnight star gazing, or the countless foot checks.... Juniper Canyon helped me find my purpose and inspired me to keep pursuing it even though life sucks sometimes. ElaineK.