Life is an interesting journey. Sometimes you find yourself on a wide open plain with so many directions to try. Other times, you find yourself trying to squeeze into the most impossibly narrow alleyway. Not to mention all the other path sizes in-between that are yet to be dreamed of. 1/14/2010
I wrote this quote as a Facebook status ten years ago. A lot in life has changed in that decade. A lot has happened during that decade. I made my way into the collegiate classroom after being unemployed the first two years of that time frame. I would spend three years in the classroom, enjoying every moment that I had. I would then transition to a reporting position within the college, where I lasted nearly five years, until finally finishing the decade where I started – unemployed. In some ways, that trajectory has felt somewhat unsatisfactory, particularly when I start measuring it under the standards of those who employed me. And while that decade can be colored in with that particular crayola color, its not truly indicative of what the decade brought to my life.
My life is not a single, monotone structure of failure and success. While the decade did have its moments in employment, as well as several health scares, the deaths of my parents, and a few other items of minor interest, there were a handful of moments of success and triumph as well. However, all of these are not the primary color of my decade. I spent more time in my Druidry studies than any other time in my life. I learned more about the deeper, unseen connections between myself and the world around me. Yes, some of that came about directly from my studies in the Bardic and Ovate grade material from the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids (OBOD). Those studies did more to unlock and open portals of experience I had never really contemplated before, as did a year-long study I did with Cat Treadwell in the mid-range of the decade.
So, so many people have asked me what I learned in my Druidry studies, and what they might learn from doing those studies. I learned more about myself, how I connect to the world around me on a daily basis, and how to explore each of those connections. Those studies and lessons still stick with me to this day, and color so much of my way of contemplating the moment in front of me. For instance, as I write this, I have no idea who might read it today, tomorrow, five years from now, or even further into the future. I sometimes wonder if what I write will have any impact on how others approach their daily Spirituality. In the end, it does not matter how many find anything of importance from what I write. If I reach even one person, at any point in the future, and help them make a better approach to their own lives – that is all the connection to the future that I would truly want. One or many, the number does not matter, so long as what I write helped make some kind of positive impact. As for what someone else might learn from these lessons, that is really hard to say. Every single person is different. Each person has a different set of needs within their own Spiritual life. And to be honest, every person will get something different, according to their own needs. I know Druidry has helped me in numerous ways, especially in understanding the abstract, but I cannot say that anyone else would get the same thing from Druidry that I do.
During the decade, I turned fifty years of age. In some ways, I feel much older, particularly where my health is concerned. However, in terms of living my life – I feel like I have only just begun. When I was twenty, I felt like I would never be forty. That age was just “too old” for me to contemplate. Now at fifty-four, I hope to experience as much of life as I possibly can. I am open to whatever possibilities are out there. A radically different mindset from the hard-partying twenty-something I was before. I don’t have the desire to run through life with a whiskey bottle in one hand, while waving a sword with the other. I’m a touch more reserved in that capacity thirty-plus years down the line. I have begun to understand that rushing through life is no way to really live – there are intricate details to observe and partake of. Only when you slow down, do you catch those subtleties. And like I noted, I want those experiences.
As I noted in the quote, life is a journey. The past decade has been spent trying to wriggle my way through some fairly tight passageways to get to where I am now – where the plain opens up before me. I can choose nearly any direction I want, except back. I have been there. I want to see the things that I have yet to see. I think that the best plan at this point is to follow the pretty sunset – it leads to an even prettier sunrise. And the deep night between has its own marvelous sights and sounds to be experienced, under the gentle fall of the sky’s dark, star-brightened blanket.