New Perspectives

Photograph standing of large cedar trees towering above

Bent — mirroring the paths of elders

The earth beneath me is rest

Fallen from a grand parent

Lying among siblings

who will become the next generation

Resting in silence

Covered, home among the cedars.

–Poem from the perspective of a stick on the ground off the Forest Loop Trail at Islandwood.

Yesterday, I got to spend the day at Islandwood with my (future) faculty colleagues including my dear friend, Dr. Déana Scipio, Director of Graduate & Higher Education programming at Islandwood.

It was such a beautiful day that reminded me of the importance of connection, of observing the world around me closely, of taking new perspectives right where we are, of coming alongside and learning with and from, of moving at the speed of trust.

I still struggle with being the “new kid” in a different space, especially after having established myself in profound ways in my current space. It can be hard to be with that part of me.

Yesterday was, in many ways, as overwhelming as it was beautiful. These lands I’m on speak loudly if you listen. The trees and the water hold so much wisdom.

My (new to me) colleagues also hold so much knowledge and experiences. They are deeply invested in the world and established in the work in this region.

I have so much to learn.

Although I have already begun building and deepening relationships that I know will be foundational to my new work, there were still many moments yesterday when I felt adrift (and was deeply grateful for grounding hugs to pull me back to the present moment). There were many moments where all of the things I am taking in felt like too many things all at once. There were moments after I returned to my hotel room where I wondered if I said or did the “right thing,” where I wished I had connected with more of my colleagues, where I felt the full vulnerability in my humanity.

It is a year of transitions.

It is a year where I will need to take breaks, need to take breaths, need to embrace new perspectives, need to transform my relationships with time, myself, others, and what many things mean.

It is sometimes all of the things now, and while I may not always be ready for all those things, I will try my best to be reflective through the process, always learning through these beautiful moments.

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