How I Found Purpose


by cici castillo!

I drove through Oregon and miles of nothing but nature and wild life. I had never experienced anything like this before. The sky was orange and the sun had been setting between the mountains next to me. I’d discovered mother nature has a face, and she is beautiful.

I sat by myself at the waterfalls in Seattle. Hundreds of trees surrounded me, I never knew air could be so crisp. Everywhere I drove had beauty, and I was constantly reminded of how pure this earth is. I was in a haze of astonishment. The sky was painted beautiful colors, and the beauty of the untouched wilderness brought tears to my eyes. The red wood forest was hypnotic - I didn’t leave for hours. Trees of all shapes and sizes sang to me.

I made friends with a married couple both age 75 in Oregon, who had lived there all their life and were selling freshly grown fruits and vegetables on the side of the road. “We both fell in love with nature before we fell in love with each other” Mary, Johns wife, said to me as I confessed my admiration for the places I’d explored the past few days. I sat down with them for about half an hour before I headed on my way to new adventures.

I never wanted to leave. I felt at peace. I felt protective over the beautiful sights I had seen, and how badly I wanted all these places to never change, to keep growing and flourishing.

On my way home, after days of exploring, getting lost repeatedly, meeting people of all ages and personalities, crying several times because of the overwhelming love I had for every place I had the privilege of spending time in - I had a thought. As these memories flooded my head at 5 am, exhausted, driving for hours, maps all around me, I realized what this trip taught me. The same trees that had sang to me, cry out loud in pain as we kill them for our own needs day to day. The beauty I felt this overwhelming need to protect is destroyed constantly.

We all have that moment we will remember till the day we die.

For some it is the first time they fell in love, the time they took LSD at the beach, their first heartbreak, a certain concert, a death, a setback, an accomplishment. For me, it was this moment; I had been driving for hours, having watched the sun rise and the day come to life. I was in the middle of mother natures playground, and I realized I will not live my life doing anything other than spending every second of everyday helping this earth, helping mother nature. The importance of the environment had never been so clear to me.

Some realize what they are meant to do at the age of 60, and some realize as soon as they could walk, or play an instrument. For me, it was at the age of 16, in a place I will forever hold in my heart.

shot by kyla rain

shot by kyla rain