Photo Journal: The River of Grass in Florida’s Everglades – Farlin Black

My recent trip (late December ’17 to early January ’18) to instruct a canoe expedition in the Everglades with a group of college students represents an annual pilgrimage of catharsis. By continuing to return to such an exhilarating environment – the River of Grass, the mangrove forests, and the coastal estuaries- I find that they continue to teach me, not only of my place in the intricacy of the shared human endeavor and the seemingly endless interconnectedness of the natural world, but also of the reciprocal relationship that humans have with it. This adventure enabled me to connect with a group of people much more deeply than life in society allows me to in a similar amount of time. Part of it is the magic of the place, but a bigger part of it is the shared sense of purpose coupled with a sense that everyone in the microcosm is needed. 
I find that a lot of questions that I didn’t even know I had seem to surface in that place where salt and fresh water swirl and mix…
Where I am able to find joy in the face of adversity I am able to reflect on the big picture and take some sense of personal growth away with me. My ability to stay connected to the sharp end of the learning experience enables me to connect with more awareness to the participants and students I instruct throughout the rest of the year on Adventure In Adventure Out programs. 

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