When I first encountered this now oft-quoted phrase from Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Mary Oliver’s “The Summer Day,” I was a summer away from one of those “decade” birthdays situated at the midpoint of life.
Being introspective by nature, Aries by birth, and intentional by design, Oliver’s question resounded deeply and resulted in giving myself the gift of a fourteen month “sabbatical” to explore just that. (Technically, it’s a deferred salary leave, a benefit from my employer, wherein they saved 20% of every paycheque over five years for me to then have a paid leave. I deferred the deferred by a year and am taking it now, starting July 1, 2010 and concluding in late August, 2011.)
Family, friends and colleagues have been asking what I’ve got planned, urging me to stay in touch. My mentor-friend in leadership development for educators, Dennis Sparks, recommends writing as a way to gain clarity for purposeful knowing and skillful action. I’ve been intent to enhance my 21st century literacy skills. BLOGGING seemed like the perfect way to respond. So last week, my colleague and tech whiz, Rick came over to teach me how.
As the arrival of my leave drew closer, I began pondering and then describing to others my intention framed as three questions:
- “What if?” – evoking curiosity, possibility, exploration and experimentation
- “What now?” – an invitation to being present and engaged in this moment
- “What next? ” – a commitment to remaining open, sensing the emerging future, taking wise and skillful action
My “way in” would be to follow the wisdom of “moving at the pace of guidance,” one of The Seven Whispers from Christina Baldwin, as a means of sensing an emerging future . Voila! I had my blog’s title and tagline!
Over these next fourteen months during which I’m writing and travelling the “U” (see below), your comments will be a most valued source of perspective, clarity, insight, humour and provocation. Avanti!