I wrote this reflection on May 9, 2018, in Marshall, North Carolina while at a Presence-Based Coaching Conference at the Bend of Ivy Lodge. Sitting alone on rocks nestled on the edge of the Ivy River with a view of the Blue Ridge Mountains, I reflected on life, work, love, play, and relationships. I grew uneasy as tasks at home and work invaded my private space. I had left home in a frenzy – unfinished class project, hurried visits, rushed final lesson plans, paper grading, lost and found cell phone, and a fuzzy sense of purpose – all buried in extensive to-do lists.
I pulled out my journal and wrote the following:
I Ionged for this time alone ninety minutes ago. Now I am restless. So much to do. What? Nothing now. Just be here in this gorgeous place full of rich history and natural beauty.
I am hungry. My butt hurts. Time to move. Time to shift.
Is this what my life would be without work? Would I lose purpose? Would I doze in the afternoon? Is that okay?
Structure and flexibility – life’s polarities. I dance within this flow. I just need to find a bit more space.
Then I brainstormed a list of ways to change, rearrange, explore. Yoga after work instead of before. Get up earlier. Chat less. Make intentional choices. Then I looked at the Ivy River and wrote this poem:
The Ivy River – Marshall, North Carolina
“Water – tumbling over rocks, repeated patterns of Light and life – graciously unsure of its destination.
Bubbling, dipping downstream, fanciful flow greeting the air – open to new possibilities.
Forging forward – a community creating rhythms – reassurance, serenity, hope.
Murmuring, ‘I have been here hundreds of thousands of years, resilient, ready for the unknown around the bend.’
Neighbors marvel – moss, mud, pebbles, stumps, sticks, stones – not trying to capture, remember, share, or like – just feeling and being, not wishing for a fellow witness.”
I am right in there with the moss and mud – learning from the Ivy River how to be. Those stumps, sticks, and stones teach a lesson, too.