Saturday, March 21, 2009

My Year of Hopefulness - Spring arrives

Spring arrived yesterday with a last little flurry of snow. I was just finishing up my Friday morning shift at God's Love We Deliver when I looked out the window to see flakes swirling in a mad rush to wave one last good-bye to the long, cold winter. And it was Winter's nod to us to remind us that "I'll be back". I laughed as I thought about that dialogue between Spring and Winter. Nature's changing of the guard. 

By all accounts I am a Winter person. I love my sweaters, jeans, and boots. Walking in the park or down 5th Avenue when it's snowing is one of my favorite activities. Usually Winter reminds me of rest and healing, a time of contemplation, reflection, and preparation. Not this year. I have wanted Winter to end from the day it started. These past few months I've been praying for the end of the cold like never before. 

This morning as I stepped outside I felt a little lighter (though still cold thanks to the 32 degree temperature). There definitely was a shift in the air from Friday morning. I imagined the ice that's surrounded us for 4 months cracking and shattering under the gentle gaze of the warm sunlight. The very tiny seeds that we planted last fall are beginning to inch upward, reaching for their stage. It's almost their time. 

Now nearly three months into my writing, researching, and reading daily about hope, I'm ready to do something with all of these ideas I've been considering and shaping about my career and my life. It was a far longer process than I thought it would be. My very simple idea to do something in the social entrepreneurship space has been whittled down to something that looks more like a recognizable figure, though not yet fully formed. I consider how every sculptor starts with a mound of clay, slab of marble, or block of ice, knowing that with patience, passion, and hard work a masterpiece will emerge, eventually. 

In one of my college art history classes, I remember reading something about Donatello's agonizing work style. There are accounts of him in his studio hammering away at the marble to create his next statue and screaming at it "speak, damn you, speak!" Though I'm not really at that level, I understand that desire to work away on the block so that the fully formed piece will step into the light and show itself. 

I think about that image, that metaphor of a sculptor, as I walk in the park, write, and adjust my idea for starting a social enterprise. In the light of Spring it seems to be taking shape more clearly. With every conversation and experience, every book, blog, magazine, and newspaper article I read and write, I get a tiny bit of information of how to shape my idea. And as I gather up all those tiny bits, I begin to see a vision that's clearer and more reflective of who I am and who I'd like to be.  

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