When Byrd Waters was 9 years old, in the Pacific Ocean, off the shore of Santa Monica beach, she caught her first wave.
That day she realized two things. One, she was powerful beyond measure. Two, she was at the humble service of nature, that the ocean could take her into its unfathomable depths or return her safely to the sandy shore. It’s a dichotomy she hasn’t forgotten since. One that will prove to show up again and again in her life. To sink or to swim.
Today, as an Army veteran, freelance photographer, wave rider, full time pre-med student, and lifetime nature seeker, Byrd is deeply passionate about exploring biosynthetic pathways and pathways to enlightenment. She admits life wasn’t always easy and at times it was dark, and when the light never showed, she learned to make fire.
In this episode, Byrd tells one honest story after another. She's a wonderful storyteller, and she talks to us about addiction and recovery, about photography, about family, about being a full-time pre-med student, and more.
We talk a lot about nature, and she shares her thoughts on the relationship that people of color in America have with the outdoors.
We also discuss identity, how society puts us in boxes, and how to consciously take up our full space in the world.
This conversation was one of my favorites, and I know you'll love hearing from Byrd as much as I did!
Connect with Byrd
Selected Links From This Episode
Books, Resources & People Mentioned
- How Black Books Lit My Way Along The Appalachian Trail, by Rahawa Haile
- Angela's Ashes, by Frank McCourt
- The Emperor of All Maladies, by Siddhartha Mukherjee
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