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Cougars & Mustangs 

Somewhere between two loose floorboards and three half-eaten granola bars is a talisman of serpentine. Deep etchings from a bygone era mark the stone with a curious confrontation between the ferocious mountain lion and the majestic equestrian. Theirs is a race for all time—a vicious warrior’s dance toward the horizon of the future. And whenever that horizon seems to break within the mind of a chosen few, the talisman ignites. It’s hard to say why an aura of spitting flames is chosen as the artifact’s form of communication. Harder still is any verbal deciphering of the fiery message beyond a single, pained outcry of, “Again.” But those in contact with the stone always feel a call to action—and the call is always, always met.

There is a legend among the storied keepers of this stone, passed along as a whisper heard only by the next in line. I have lost my voice for whispers, and any sound is too loud of a cry to offer the stone the respect it deserves, so may these letters whisper for me. In a future we will all live to see, a day will come when the stone shatters wildly and each piece speeds off towards a different host.

Each will hear the call, glance around them, and ask ... “Why? Why am I here? I believed in the me of the future, who I work toward with every test, every assignment, every step outside my comfy home! Where did the passion go that brought me here?” and their fragment will answer in a hum of flame, “Again!”

The truth falls upon so many who believe that their success cannot or will not be measured without education that on the clearest of days, each step forward seems to be seven behind, and the stone bears the truth that the true path is not the same for every soul. So perhaps when one unfounded claim too many of knowing one’s own destiny pushes us too far in the opposite direction, some comfort can be taken in the truth that we are not alone in this pain.

For all the advice offered as handouts on a corner that We Can Make it with College, the moment we forget the inherent vagueness of that motto, as important as its message may be, the closer we come to forgetting that we’re here to figure it out ourselves, not because we already have.

 

Contributor Chris White-Sanborn really should pick these granola bars up one day. Send collegiate news to cougarsandmustangs@newtimesslo.com.

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