I've taken a dozen or so walks these past couple of weeks because, when I'm in the valley, sometimes that's all I can do. Walking stabilizes my soul; it depressurizes me.
I've got teacher-y blog posts piling up that I've not emailed to you lately — I'll start sending those out to you again next week, promise — but for today, I just wanted to give you something that a recent walk gave to me. As you go into your weekend, I hope there's something below worth carrying with you.
A couple weeks ago in a patch of prairie near my home, I was walking. School had been cancelled because of ice, and each step of the trail I walked that day was crunchy, slippery, and cold.
As I walked and felt the cold sinking in to me, I started seeing the landscape as it has appeared to me in other seasons. Beneath the ice and within the dormant plants there has been, and will be again, the first shoots of spring, the flourishing of summer, and the quiet, regalness of fall. It was like I was catching a glimpse of all the seasons layered on top of one another. Though appearing lifeless and dead today, this landscape was one of massive and ongoing and time-proven potential.
It is a deep mystery, that the barren winter ground can house the spring and summer and fall.
No matter how wintry your practice has felt this school year, colleague, reflect on how it has also housed the spring. Mastery has grown. Learning has taken place. And connection has done what connection does: alter life trajectories, for the better.
But, as a finite creature fixed in time, you may see none of it right now. We just don't get to see it all. Omniscience is not our place in the cosmos. The closest I've gotten was during that walk in the icy prairie, catching flashing glimpses of those other seasons in the frigid landscape.
It's possible to see no results for months but still to be doing something important.
Actually, it's more than possible.
It's inevitable, like the seasons.
Wishing you a good weekend,