Dennis on the Road

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Not a day has passed in recent weeks without someone asking me what my plans are for when I return from my travels at the end of this year. I feel like the students we just graduated who get asked over-and-over-again, “so, now what are you going to do with your life.” Many folks have made practical as well as creative guesses…. this from a recent email from my friend Judy: “Are you leaving Oakland Schools altogether, or coming back to work elsewhere in the system? Or.......maybe teaching or principaling abroad----now there's a thought!”

The reality is that I am purposely not making plans. As I responded to Judy, “one of the promises that I made myself is that I’m going to leave w/o any defined plans for my return. This way I can really be open to the infinite possibilities rather than limiting myself to something I’ve predetermined.”

I feel blessed and scared, excited and nervous. One never knows what will be discovered in a quest for self-discovery.


The Summer Day
by Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean~
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down~
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?


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