You can download the free book here! Pop it on your reader and enjoy the essays when you have little bits of down time this season.
Here is a peak at my submission
On the Runway
A feather captures my attention as it floats by on the surface of the water. The contrast of the natural unfolding beauty of this place with the hectic pace of human activity always makes my gut lurch. The distance is so wide.
Suddenly, geese from just around the bend charge us! There are nearly twenty of them running like a derailed locomotive, honking, wings outstretched far. Eva grabs our tiny dog and dives to me for safety. We look at the onslaught with mouths agape as the geese go around us like a river around an ancient boulder. They head into the road squawking and sounding like a chaotic brass horn band playing a cabaret song that has been unwound and spills from the sheet music. The sound, the song is immense.
"I wonder what they are doing?" I wonder out loud to no one in particular.
"Mom, they are taking off and we are in their runway" my son answers.
"We are in their runway."
The words wash over me as powerfully as the birds had passed. As we all look at each other with eyes still wide, I thought, this is what I want for my kids. To always be on the runway, the place of action where dreams and ideas are taking flight.
I want them to either bear witness to the luminous action and explosive ideas around them or better yet, to be in the thick, messy nidus of it. Always near the pulse of human (and animal) creative longing and making.
The exhilaration of sitting near the flow of creative energy offers unparallelled motivation to engage and change the world. We need to be like dowsing rods, highly sensitive to the flow just beneath the surface. We have to look past the noise of the informational glut. To see under the celebrity and commercial crust that surrounds us and seems impenetrable. Listen closely! We can hear all that us underneath. And we connect with other diviners and become the creators, not the consumers of our lives.
The thing is, the action is not always as cacophonous as a gaggle of geese. In fact, most times it is subtle and tiny and discreet. My job is to encourage them to stop, look and then find a way to make sense of the experience, through talking, writing or art/sense making . That is our curriculum. We spend our days lost in thought. Laying under trees. Reading. Looking under rocks. Wondering. Seeing shows. Asking. Making food. Talking to strangers. Getting lost. And then plotting our way back.
After the geese, we spend time watching an ant who fell off a twig into the lake.
Elliot says, "Oh no! My ant is drowning!" He scans the ground nearby looking for the materials to initiate a rescue. But then he sees that the ant is swimming. It is hard, slow work, but he is doing it. We all cheer for him as he climbs up onto a piece of floating duck weed.
“I had no idea ants could swim.” he whispers to no one in particular.
“Maybe we all have secret, hidden abilities that become accessible in certain situations.” I answer.
Maybe. Maybe we do not know what we are capable of until we see others struggling against their own limits.
Maybe the answers are always all around us. Our creative impetus is fueled when we stop and listen and look and record and play with the ideas.
That is it. That is all it has always been.
It is all quest. There is no destination when we are on the runway.