Christmas Break… stop. Holiday Break… stop. Vacation… stop. That silly time in the middle of the winter that spans the cold dark days. Yes, that seems more appropriate. A time spent with family and friends harkening of days filled with summer sun and autumn beauty. For me this time of darkness leads to rebirth, a transition. That transition is major – life altering, New. Maybe it will even have that New smell… These days, since the end of fall semester spent at Uni, I’ve spent at home in Prescott with my Mother and Father. Recuperating, preparing, and worrying about my new life which is starting across the ocean even as I type. It has preceded me.

January 20th, February 20th, March 20th, April 20th, May 20th, June 20th, July 20th – August 6th.

That’s a long span of words, a longer span of time. A great many months of hard work and fun, learning and playing. Time spent in Italia, and across Europe. I’m surprised – I’m nervous but not, impatient but wishing the event would take longer to arrive. It’s like stage fright, standing in the wings, waiting for my moment in the spot light, throwing myself but not myself on the mercy of the audience … well this time it is me, Me, ME. I, Myself, Me, I am going, I am ready, I am responsible… This is my affirmation.

The flight, 15 hours cramped in a small seat on a flying aluminum can is something I’m worried about. My family has supported and stood resolute behind me, this is a reality… this is my future… my career… my life? I’m packing, I’m cleaning, I’m preparing. Tomorrow morning at 10:30am I’m working out to get my blood flowing again from the R&R I’ve taken here at home. Then it’s time to focus, get everything in order. Take advantage of the warm dry weather. It will be time to do.

Without my family, my brother Alex, my mother Jo, and my father Ed… where would I be? I am a summation of all their parts and more… MORE I am an original interpretation of those parts, those experiences combining with their knowledge, experience and faith as if it were an aiding catalyst in some ancient alchemic formula. I am creating a stronger potion; I am a stronger human being because of all their parts. This concoction is not just all these pieces mixed together, it is new… best of all it is free.

My family has given me the strength and understanding to become myself. I am beautiful. I am competent, I am ready.

Does it end with my family? No, every person, every action, every second has consequence on the result. This summation of an equation is no potion, no inanimate concoction of chemicals. It is me… plus more. There must be more. Can everything I am be a reaction to actions and events? No… the universal question, the driver that creates me, allows my individual understanding and my genesis of thought from each formula, this is God. God is everything, it is everywhere. There is no one being, no Man or anthropomorphic being. God is the force within us that pushes us, and allows our original creativity, our unique interpretation that makes us more than a simple sum.

God is as my father once wrote: “…not something sitting somewhere on a throne…I know that the god force within me is not there to protect me from other men or injustice on a secular level. The message is powerful on another level, the one that really counts.” The message is that I am connected, I am alive, I am free, and I am original; there is no second me, no other version. I am good. I am okay. I am strong and I will always be a part of this world. This is God’s message as I see it. This is my faith, to be understood, contemplated, argued and prothlesized to me alone. It is not for anyone else, nor is it like anyone else’s understanding. As with every being’s faith, it is personal, it is not right for nor does it belong to any other.

So here I stand, waiting. Eight days until I leave my family physically, spiritually and in heart I’ll never be apart from them. Physically I return to them in August. Nine days before I’m on the ground in a foreign country, on my own, with all the tools I need. Two strong hands, a strong body, two willing feet to carry me and a mind set between my ears – a mind prepared and resolute to discover, enjoy, adventure and quest!

I am here, I am David Nathaniel Berger. I am more than the sum of all my parts.