Coming off of my deployment with Team Rubicon to Rockport as part of the response to Hurricane Harvey and stepping right into the craziness that is Trigger 2 hasn't allowed me much time to process and I've barely scratched the surface. What I keep coming back to are the gifts afforded me through my week in Rockport. 

1. Friendship.
Not only was I able to spend a week doing the things I love with some of the people I love, I was able to meet even more incredible people from outside my region. The Command & General Staff (C&G) was comprised of some of the most professional, capable, kick-ass people I've had the pleasure to work within TR. The strike teams were also of the same caliber and it was an incredible pleasure getting to know them. And the people we were blessed to help...I don't have words for that part.

2. Learning.
I had the immense pleasure of not only being ON a sawyer strike team that week, but I was also afforded the privilege of leading that strike team the last two days that I was in Texas. It was intimidating but I have been fortunate to be taught and led by some amazing sawyers over the course of the past year and I was able to fall back on that training in addition to the fact that the sawyers and swampers on the team were incredibly skilled and capable. I learned more about felling trees, bucking and limbing, and maintaining saws in this one week than in the entire time I've been running a saw.

3. Challenge.
It was hot and humid and exhausting. But none of that compared with the challenges the residents of Rockport and Aransas Pass had faced and were facing. It was humbling to be there. It was a blessing to not only be able to support the residents of south Texas, but my teammates as well.

4. Connection.
NOTHING brings people together like shared challenge. There is a depth of connection forged through hours of sweat and effort and work that is tough to find elsewhere.

5. Service.
The sense of self-worth, of purpose garnered through serving others and expecting NOTHING in return is indescribable. It's invigorating. It's fulfilling. It's addictive.

6. Frustration.
The operation itself is huge. There are many moving parts. Things get lost or broken and failures happen. But there is no malice in any of it and remembering that keeps everything else in perspective. This has been helpful as our regional team works to make Trigger 2 successful. What would have seemed like monumental frustrations without Harvey in the mix are now put firmly into perspective.

7. Perspective.
Funny...I was just talking about this. All of the small, annoying, petty issues fade away when you drive through a town that was hit with the eye of a hurricane and set out to help people that have lost pretty much everything they own. There is a perspective gained when clearing debris from the front yard of a home while looking for a glass Japanese float that the homeowner asked you to keep an eye out for. And when you find it and you hand it to him and his face lights up like it's the most precious thing he's seen in a week, nothing else really matters at that point.

8. Exhaustion.
There is a clarity that comes from being bone-tired; a purity of thoughts, of feelings, of emotions. It strips away our defenses, our distractions, our petty worries and leaves us raw and open.

I'm not sure I've recovered from any of it, nor am I sure I want to. I want to stay changed.

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