NANCY G. SHAPIRO

FINDING CALM IN THE MIDST OF CHANGE

The Surprising Act of Self-Discovery

April 11, 2008

The act of self-discovery, once begun, has the weight of momentum, a certain cadence. It requires gumption, patience and bravado, and results in arriving at a point previously unknown. One could say timing is important too, though the surprise in self-discovery is that life has a way of slinging the unexpected our way at the most inconvenient moment.

 

I once climbed the same hill (pictured) in a pouring gale with my friend, Nick (with backpack walking in milder weather with his wife Dolly). I was determined to witness the majesty and spirit of the Haytor Rocks in the Devon moors, despite a sunny morning turned stormy. Wiith wellies on and Nick’s footprints to follow, I surprised myself, and discovered that the act of propelling myself up the steep hillside soaking wet was exhilarating.

 

So wherever you are along the trail toward yourself and in whatever state of readiness or confusion, have faith and remember these last lines from Robert Collen’s poem Le Cri de Merlin:

 

“…First is the knowledge / that it has taken a lifetime / to arrive at this place; / second is the conviction / that you are most alive / in the act of discovery; / and third is the fact / that observation changes / the thing observed.” 

 

 

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