In the 60's and 70's I knew nothing of ants. In the 60's and 70's the Beatles and the Spencer Davis Group were pounding in my brain. In the 60's I saw a man land on the moon. In the 60's I saw half a million people dance in the mud to music our parents were sure would turn us into raving lunatics. In 1970 I heard that Jimi and Janis were dead; a year later Morrison took the final trip on his Crystal Ship. Jesus may not have wept. I did. In 1970 I attended a memorial service for students killed by the National Guard at Kent State. Police attacked the peaceful rally and many students ran wild in the streets. I was one of them. I dreamed that I could force the world to change, make it to conform to my dream, persuade it to fulfill the destiny I had in mind. My dream was in the sky. Ants crawled about my feet. I ignored them as I operated on a "higher" plane. Unfazed, the ants moved the earth one grain at a time.
In 1970, miles south of my university dreamland, a young man was suffering in a mental institution. Abandoned at birth and then ripped from his foster parents at age seven, David Young had no time for dreams of making a better world. Like the ants, he navigated his world one grain at a time. His dream was to survive each day. Making slow, steady progress he taught himself to read and studied the world of ants. His passion for the very small kept him safe in the land of the very painful. "Freed" in the 80's he found a nest and built a new world, a world much larger than his bed at the institution but still small in the minds of many. He began to dream. Many of his dreams were frightening. But some took him to lands he had only read about in books.
Like an ant navigating pebbles and leaves of grass, David traveled west, finally coming to stand in "the Mother of Waters". I was blessed to travel with David as he explored the California "land of fuzzy hills" seeking a new nesting site. He found it in the Bay Area in the spring of '09. Soon we will rise, a swarm of two, and head west where David will build a fresh nest. Our dream buddy Barry will help, but David is the navigator - following the compass of his passion. Once trapped in an institution cell, now he flies toward his true self. Who has not had this dream? I lost it by dreaming of what others thought I should be. David held true to his course like the ant; patiently moving past each obstacle; persistently navigating challenges as his heart guided him onward. He has shown me that each of us carries our own unique dream; a path that often reveals itself only one grain at a time. No one can say how the dream journey will end but my money is on David. I will fly to many places as David creates his new nest. Sometimes I fear my journey, but thanks to David, I know that ants place no limits on success. Perhaps by moving the grains of my dream I will help change the world. I know that David, Barry, Tom and many others have changed mine.