The Heron

In a few weeks, I’m doing a talk on Passion. It’s one I’ve never done before. I find my mind goes to the topic often — to define it, to frame it, to come to terms with what can one teach vs. what can one show. And, so in my normal way of pondering, I started to pick up books here and there in my house. Not with any particular thing in mind, but almost searching for words that would then help me see what it is I’m looking for.
And I found this:
“You will be walking some night
in the comfortable dark of your yard
and suddenly a great light will shine
round about you, and behind you
will be a wall you never saw before …
Though you have done nothing shameful,
They will want you to be ashamed.
They will want you to kneel and weep
and say you should have been like them.
Be ready.
When their light has picked you out
and their questions are asked, say to them:
“I am not ashamed.” A sure horizon will
come around you. The heron will begin
his evening flight from the hilltop.”
We live in a context of today. And the people who know us in that current context may not see our dream. How could they? They do not know what we are called to do. How could they? And if you are ready for being different, and growing, will they understand? Or will they ask you to stay like them, be like them? Likely.
The person who is passionate is the one who decides that they will not be ashamed. They will be who they are, as they are meant to be. Not as others wish onto us. or Hold us back.
That poem snippet is by Wendell Berry from “Do Not Be Ashamed”.

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