You were the boy in 1996 who had never spent a night away from home. In fact, you were terrified. And then you met a young man who called himself "Hercules." He liked you, and he wanted you to succeed. Meals were especially hard. It's tough to enjoy spaghetti with tears streaming down your face and your stomach in a knot, so Hercules spent every meal that week with you, eating in a private spot so others wouldn't see you cry. On Tuesday you were ready to give up, but by Friday you had two new things: a friend, and the knowledge that you had made it.
You were the girl in 1989 who was new to your school and painfully shy. Out on a flood plain of the Sandy River, your classmates were noisily searching for life in a necklace of ponds while you stood by, quietly watching them. Chinook, the instructor, noticed this and asked if he could show you "something really cool." You spent the next thirty minutes collecting caddisflies, marveling at how they use tiny pebbles to build themselves a protective shell even as you began to break out of your own. Years later you would take the chance to share something cool with another child.
Above text from introduction by Dan Prince
Paperback available at Powell's
Kindle version available from Amazon