January 30th, 2019: Presence & Compassion

Breath of Fresh Air
Today, at 12:30 PM, we packed our warm layers, crowded our Toyota Sequoias, and embarked an hour-long drive up north to the area of St. Mary’s and the outskirts of Glacier National Park. For me, it could not have come at a better time. Since Monday, I’ve been working with the 5th graders at De La Salle Blackfeet School. They’re such a fun group, but they’ll make your hair turn gray. Over the past few days, I have forged some pretty tight relationships with the kids. They were disappointed to see us leave halfway through the day. I, on the other hand, was a bit excited. Today was a bit rough in school. As a boy and girl argued in P.E., the girl fell and hit her head on the wall. In Reading, two boys would rather spend their time running around the class instead of reading with me. In language arts, I had to read half of the Bible verses for the class because the students refused to themselves. In science... well, let’s just say that water bottles were thrown across the classroom. So, for me it seemed like a relief to know I’d be going to my favorite place in the world at 12:30- Nature.
Growing up, I’ve always found God in nature. Anyone who knows me to the slightest degree knows that I passionately love fishing among other nature activities like hiking and surfing. One of the things that captivated me about Glacier National Park is its quick transition from plains to mountains. One minute, we’re driving through rolling hills that look like roasted marshmallows with their yellow, dead grass and their white, fluffy snow. The next, we have 12,000 ft snowcapped mountains towering over us. For about 4 hours, we snowshoed through a valley in Glacier National Park. To the east, a tall ridge which marked the border of the Blackfeet Nation land. To the west, monstrous snow-covered mountains creating shadows over us. This hike is the reason for half the stuff we packed in our travel bags. I wore 3 layers of pants, 3 layers of shirts, and winter gear. At times, I was a bit toasty. The hike itself is an experience I won’t forget. The Park Ranger was very helpful and she taught us a bunch of information about the region. The scenery was breathtaking. Being surrounded by skyscraping mountains reminded me of how small of a piece I am to God’s greater plan, but also how big of a deal I am to Him because he has me here in these moments. I saw signs of wildlife in its fullest form. Woodpecker holes, beaver lodges, and deer tracks all reminded me about how we share this world. In the grand scheme of things, I’ve been reminded of the injustice done to the Blackfeet Tribe and all other American Indians. This land was theirs. They relied on the Glacier National Park land for ceremonies and hunting. This land is sacred. While I’m glad the land is being preserved and protected by the U.S. government, I feel that the Blackfeet Tribe could do just as well. As we pulled out of the park, the sun was setting over the mountains and the sky turned orange. I was able to thank God for a complete day. (Brady, Class of 2019)
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Calvert Hall College High School

8102 La Salle Road | Baltimore, MD 21286 | 410-825-4266 | 410-825-6826 (fax)
Calvert Hall College High School is a private Catholic college preparatory high school for boys, located in Baltimore, Maryland. Our mission is to foster Men of intellect, Men of faith, and Men of integrity in the Lasallian tradition.