News from your Regional Director: The Footprints We Leave
“…we must choose each step we take with utmost caution, for the footprints we leave behind are as important as the path we will follow. They’re part of the same journey — our story.” –Lori R. Lopez, Dance of the Chupacabras
In the mountains of Pennsylvania, a fallen tree rests across the banks of a creek. “The log,” once a tall and mighty tree, is now horizontal—and serving a new purpose. Over the course of a year, the log has served as a bridge for raccoon, black bear, chipmunk, porcupine, king fisher, grouse, muskrat, bobcat, coyote, crow, whitetail deer, gray squirrel, bullfrog, mallard duck, beaver, sandpiper, blue jay, gray fox, turkey, great horned owl, and Bob (*the man who filmed it all).
It is fascinating to watch each type of wildlife make their way across….some stumbling, others pausing to enjoy a dip in the water, one pausing to eat its prey, others sitting and enjoying the view. We see life, fog, struggles, rain, fights, beauty, and sunshine. Most likely, few knew the others had been there. Yet all had walked along the same path, sometimes alone, sometimes with friends. Each had left footprints—some visible, others washed away by the weather & new foot traffic.
As I wrap up my term as the Regional Director for IV-W, I reflect on the path we have forged over the past two years and the footprints left behind. At times, it felt we were building new paths, alone. Other times, we laughed & walked together, treading a familiar lane. We’ve shared the best and the worst in each other’s personal lives: loves, losses, triumphs and challenges. We have worked as a team to expand professional development opportunities, to create a new strategic plan, and to explore opportunities to fulfill the promise of higher education. We have left behind our footprints, and created a passageway for those to come.
I am thankful to have made this journey with my IV-W family and our Student Affairs colleagues across the nation (and world!). My volumes of stories have expanded through this excursion, and you all have left your footprints in my mind, my heart, and my spirit. Thank you for the incredible opportunity to serve and be part of your story—it has been a wonderful honor.
Shaping the next path is incoming Regional Director, Dr. Teresa L. Clounch, Fort Hays State University. Teresa, while I’ll be here for you if ever you need me, I can’t wait to see the new places you and your team take us. Best to you all!
For the last time--with IV-West Pride,
NASPA IV-W Regional Director
PS. You didn’t really think I’d write one last blog post without a joke, did you?! Since we’re talking about journeys….
A photon is traveling through airport security.
The TSA agent asks if he has any luggage. The photon says, "No, I'm traveling light."
They say a good life is when you smile often, dream big, laugh a lot, and realize how blessed you are for what you have. I am blessed, indeed.