Mark Nepo‘s October 19 entry in his Book of Awakenings struck a cord today. It struck a cord just because I’m human, but also because, for those who travel with us, I believe this reading is true for them. So here it is:
Our Sense of Calling
Every year, around the scalp of the planet, the caribou run the same path of migration along the edge of the Arctic Circle. They are born with some innate sense that calls them to this path. And every year, along the way, packs of coyote wait to feed on the caribou. And every year, despite the danger, the caribou return and make their way.
Often nature makes difficult things very clear. What feels like confusion is frequently our human refusal to see things for what they are. What lesson do the caribou shout to us with the thunder of their hooves as they deepen the crown of the planet? They are evidence, even as we speak, of the fact that in every living thing there is an inner necessity that outweighs all consequence. For the caribou it is clear what it is.
For spirits carried in human form, it is a blessing and a curse that we don’t always know our calling. Part of our migration is the finding out. What is it we are called to, beneath all formal ambition? The caribou tell us that, though there are risks and dangers that wait in the world, we truly have no choice but to live out what we are born with, to find and work our path.
These elegant animals bespeak a force deeper than courage, and, though some would call the caribou stupid, the mystery of their migration reveals to us the quiet, irrepressible emergence of living over hiding, of being over thinking, of participating over observing, of thriving over surviving.
I love that last bit: living over hiding, of being over thinking, of participating over observing, of thriving over surviving. What a great call to life. He writes to sit quietly and ask what you are called to. Whatever it is, he suggests, you receive as “an energy that lives inside you and not as a goal you have to achieve.” That, I think, is beautiful advice. Don’t make it a goal. I believe our travelers are living, being, participating and thriving. It’s why they choose our trips!
Orvieto Sunset – Afterglow
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