February 8, 2020-
“We must let go of the life we’ve planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.”-Joseph Campbell
Over the years, I’ve learned that planning, while it offers the benefit of a loose framework, is both preferable to chaos and inferior to serendipity. In 2014, I overplanned my European journey, day by day. When the opportunity of joining an American troupe at Omaha Beach, in Normandy, presented itself-I found myself turning it down-as I had a hotel reservation in Rouen, and didn’t want to sacrifice the night’s lodging. It’s academic, as to whether this would have been a worthwhile sacrifice, as the night in Rouen was uneventful.
Of late, I’ve been going more with my deeper feelings-turning down jobs, when I sense that taking them on would not do the students any good, and accepting them, when I feel that I have something definite to offer. The same remains true of leisure pursuits. I generally roll with my gut, or with my heart, when deciding which path to follow, of a weekend or day off. There was a time, a few years back, when I was looking towards a three-year Trifecta of through-hikes: Arizona Trail, Appalachian/East Coast Recreation Trail and Pacific Crest Trail. A strong sense that I needed to stay put, during much of the year, has borne fruit, during this period-2017-19. As we’ve seen, I was on the road, anyway-just on a route that proved more beneficial to self and others-and let me serve this community, for 8-10 months.
The life that’s waiting for me, after December, is a cipher. In the meantime, there are several paths on which I may find myself-with the anchor of this Home Base, a small group of reliable friends, and several more, who are a bit more mercurial. I have confidence that Dr. Joe was right, and that accepting the life that is waiting will be just as rewarding, if not more so, than what I had planned.