Connecting to ourselves and our community - Ben Capelin

The waterways of the Colorado River Basin are the craniosacral fluid of the Southwest. They are the lifeblood around which all things in this part of the world exist and are replenished. As a Colorado native, I grew up acutely aware of the delicate edge between use and exploitation of rivers in this vital watershed. The vice of population, climate change, and resource management continues to tighten around the arid southwest and I cannot help but to be cognizant of these hurdles and what they hold for us. The challenges ahead are vast, but so is our potential for solutions. I feel grateful that there are great minds and great hearts on this adventure who are dedicated to a sustainable future.

 I am grateful to be part of this expedition as it forges through a new political and climatic terrain as it attempts to re-imagine the future of our rivers. I grew up working in outdoor education in the Four Corners with youth from around the world. This work gave me an appreciation for how profoundly--and how necessarily--it can connect a person to themselves, others, and their community. As mainstream culture drags us closer to our screens, these rivers become increasingly important as they run the risk of becoming increasingly underappreciated. As a guide, it is important for me to do what I can to vouchsafe the protection of these landscapes of latent transformation for coming generations. I am enlivened and inspired to be part of a journey that seeks to cultivate in the rhetoric surrounding the Colorado River Basin a more profound spiritual, physical, and cultural health.