The Wildflower Initiative has humble beginnings. Really, it's three women that bonded together after the passing of a beloved friend. Graduating at different stages of life from the same college, and starting a grass roots organization to enable more students to study abroad and possibly live out some dreams. It began with emails, phone calls and eventually meetings to collaborate. The Department may think we're a blessing, but I think we're the ones most inspired. Working to assist the students at San Diego State University (SDSU) that walk through the halls everyday, reading and dreaming of places their minds can only imagine. Experiences they haven't lived. Food they've yet to taste, next to oceans they've never seen. Different cultures, politics, religions, educational systems, homes, and ways of living. What will they see on their journey? How will their experiences impact them and the communities they come home to? I've been thinking of all the questions I want to ask. I'm eager to meet them. To hear their stories and have them share their travel experiences with us.
Will the journey be laced with adventure, misfits and mayhem and as determined as Kerouac in On the Road?(1) Or an awakening, a new beginning, A Song of Myself like only Whitman can recount (2). Or will they see an intersection of spiritual and physical worlds as Frost conveyed in Birches (3). Maybe they are the makers of their own stories. Realizing they are writing their own journey into the books, the art and history they have read and now experienced. Understanding themselves better in the process as suggested by Pound (4).
And as they set sail across the sea to foreign lands and walk streets they've never been and remember their homes and resources that are plentiful, maybe...they will come home and apply the experiences in their classrooms and communities. Wildflowers can hope, yes we can.
(1) Kerouc, Jack. On the Road. Sparks Notes. Web. http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/ontheroad/.
(2) Whitman, Walt. Song of Myself. Modern American Poetry. Web. http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/s_z/whitman/song.htm.
(3) Frost, Robert Lee. Birches. Poetry Foundation, 2015. Web. http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/robert-frost.
(4) Pound, Ezra. Quotes. Google Books. Web. https://books.google.com/books?id=Rs-EAwAAQBAJ&pg=PA133&lpg=PA133&dq=ezra+pound+no+man+understands&source=bl&ots=eXmkziOv99&sig=FiQ2LTk8Hss0y0IxcqRztJS6XvE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CEUQ6AEwCWoVChMIw4K7_Y7GxwIVxpeICh038g8y#v=onepage&q=ezra%20pound%20no%20man%20understands&f=false