My journey began 26 years ago. The details of how it got started are long and complicated, but not for this particular blog post. Suffice it to say that I was at a crossroads and took off in an academic direction, crossing oceans, shifting and changing my path in dramatic ways. There were companions along the way. Some were welcome and others not so much, as is always the case on a long journey. I confronted major cultural shocks and revelations with country, cities, studies, institutions, and people. At times the way felt treacherous and lonely, and at others it was exhilarating and exciting. Every turn I took, brought new adventures in my path, as well as humps, bumps and obstacles. Mostly, though, I was buoyed up and carried along by the kindness of many strangers.
Recently, it was beginning to seem that I had arrived. A fire burned in my belly as I rounded what I thought might be the last corner on the voyage I had begun more than two decades ago. I could almost touch it, even image it - when guards at the gate waved their fingers back and forth in front of my nose. "Not quite yet, lassie," they exclaimed. "We have yet to test your patience, confidence, and fortitude one more time at least. Can you wait for another six weeks or so? Will you?"
I thought of the many times I had traveled across the country to make presentations at this or that city. When I arrived at the airport, tired and so ready to reach home, the plane was delayed, or even canceled. I would sigh despondently and throw up my hands. Nothing to do but wait. Let go, and breathe deeply. Inevitably, I would be on my way again, and arriving home the mini despairs and frustrations already forgotten.
And so, I replied silently to the gate-keepers jealously guarding their turf. "I can wait. Of course. This little bump in my path is a bump indeed. In fact, I will sit by the wayside and have a picnic. Some warm fresh multigrain bread and delicious cheese, a bunch of juicy red grapes and a bowl of hot tea. I think I will invite one or two people to join me so that we can joy away the hours together."
As I look back, I realize how important each part of the journey was in developing who I am today. And surely, this waiting game is yet another gift for me, as necessary as all that went before. It reminds me about being in the now, breathing deeply, and letting go. Indeed, it teaches me to have faith, and gives me renewed hope.
Let's face it, I have waited too long for this part of the way, and arrival seems irrelevant now. Let it take six weeks or more. I have time.
A year ago at Mining Nuggets: Patterns of behavior