“And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been.”
~ Rainer Maria Rilke
Can you see the Black Cockatoos in the photo above?
It’s our last day of retreat, and this morning I have been greeted by the mournful cry of the Black Cockatoos as they streak across the dawn sky. They always remind me of my Aboriginal Aunties, and whenever they appear I feel they are telling me that they’re watching me, and that I am on the right track. I feel them calling me home.
It is a tender morning for my heart, this morning. My students will leave our care today and go back out into the everyday world. The world will feel the same as it ever was, but for them everything has changed.
Change is so often like that. Something profound happens. Your very soul shifts. You are different. The person you once were is gone. And yet, on the outside, you still look the same. It is possible no-one else will notice this radical transformation.
It reminds me of that Zen proverb:
Today my students will go forth into the world. Their everyday lives will resume. For them everything will be both the same, and new.
I could not be more proud nor hopeful.