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“The bird that would soar above the level plain of tradition and prejudice must have strong wings.” -—Kate Chopin, from her novel The Awakening
Exhaustion and fatigue can prompt us to question our pursuit. Even when we know with certainty and a clear mind that the quest is just in its intention and long anticipated and overdue, our mind will be challenged to continue.
But continue we must.
As Kate Chopin’s feminist protagonist Edna Pontellier in The Awakening discovers, without support, without enough enduring strength and knowledge of the situation that is the sea, the pursuit, the dream hard fought for, may not materialize – which is why we need to remember we are not alone.
Much like a lead cyclist in team’s riding group, who takes the brunt of the wind allowing other teammates to rest in the slipstream as they are pulled along by the draft, the leader cannot lead the entire time. They too much rest, and catch the draft from time to time to be pulled along by their fellow teammates.
Each one of us may be feeling exhausted in our current times for one or many reasons which is why our awareness of how to remain strong and clear-eyed is crucial. While some of us live with family and loved ones or in proximity to people who lift our strength, that may not be the case for everyone which is why I offer you the quote below.
“After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, love, and so on — have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear — what remains? Nature remains.” —Walt Whitman
With an abundance of time to myself this summer, and yes, this spring as well, I have done my best to channel it into projects and activities that would not have been able to do otherwise (I also have savored this time with my dogs). For the most part, this has worked well, but like many of you, there are ebbs and flows of our resiliency, and then I came across Walt Whitman’s words which offered the wisdom I needed for just such times.
Without hesitation, I knew he was correct. Having written about the healing and creativity-prompting benefits of spending time regularly in nature both here on the blog and in my second book, it is worth being reminded yet again, to step into nature. Spend time with Mother Nature.
From walking down the path surrounded by nature’s natural hedges, to standing near a river running along which pays no mind the passersby, being amongst nature, not to disrupt, not to change, but just to be, buoys our beings, calms our mind and steadies our ability to travel clearly and resolutely until the destination is met.
As you begin this first full week of July, a week that may not be able to unfold as you had planned not six months ago, find your reserves of strength, seek out the sources, making sure to not deplete them but appreciate them and buoy them, and soar long and well. You are not alone.
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