Once upon a time …
There was a West Virginia native who lived two clicks over into Ohio across a deep river. On the day of separation from an awesome Circle Way Practicum on Whidbey Island, Washington, where cell service was slivered, she reached the big city of Seattle, where she curled up in her hotel to await the next day’s dawn flight. She begrudgingly decided to check email (she had 300+) and found tucked in among the spam and junk a tiny inquiry from a local educational institution back home: “Wondering if you would be interested in teaching English Composition this semester. I need an instructor.”
“English comp?!? How uninspiring,” was her first thought, as she thought only of the her end-of-year schedule.
“Although it would be cool to start with a Story Council,” was her second.
“Wonder if it’s possible to change the whole ‘boring’ classroom experience by conducting it using circle way concepts,” was her third.
So, on her 12-hour trip toward West Virginia Ohio, she let those thoughts roll around in her head. The next day, which she had presciently taken off from work, she struck out in her trusty Prius only to discover a nail – with a circular head – stuck in her circular, though somewhat misshapen, tire. The AAA repairman removed the lug nuts (arranged in a circular way around the rim) to install a cute little donut tire, leading to the subsequent transformation of the misshapen tire back into a fully inflated circle. Voila! Whole again, just in time to visit her sister who, in addition to taking pity on a jetlagged sibling by cooking breakfast, showed off her newly installed circular firepit, perfect for a Story Council Circle.
And she began thinking about how the closing of one circle is truly a difficult, sometimes painful, process, yet absolutely natural. And how that closure makes way for the creation and repair of new and continuing circles in life. It’s uncanny how the universe just hands you what you need and want, if you simply take the time to see, and notice, and listen deeply.
So she’s agreed to teach that English Comp class and committed to trying to find circle applications in the doing of it. Her ongoing circle meets in a week and is interested to hear about her experience, so she’s hosting that with renewed circle principles, a little like that reconstituted tire. At work, new opportunities to work with circle practices are emerging.
Grateful for the opportunity to study the Circle Way with the founders and with 19 other amazing participants in a most sacred space in a Pacific Northwest alder marsh. “All my life’s a circle, sunrise to sundown…” *
*Harry Chapin, All My Life’s a Circle