The turbulence has subsided and outside the small window, I see magic. The clouds are scattered, some looking lonelier than others. The early evening sky is casting hazy shadows on the desolate, yet inviting beauty that is the rocky island of Newfoundland. From 32,000 feet, the vast unspoiled land below reveals its disdain for flatness. Also showcased is water, water everywhere… and that’s while flying over the center of the island. Imagine the Minnesotan land of 10,000 lakes. Now imagine that every one of those lakes is broken into 78 pieces of all shapes and sizes. It’s like a massive storm swept over the land and left innumerable puddles of water. I find it quite magical indeed.
I have a strong Newfoundland bias. It was born at sunrise on a clear July morning in 2007 as we drove off the ferry at Port-Aux-Basques and the Long Range Mountains slowly came into view.
I was hooked immediately. Moments ago the site of that picture was just below me as we prepared to leave the island behind. I’m feeling a familiar longing: a longing to spend more time here.
I’ve been fortunate to visit many times since that July morning; work calling me over on most of those occasions, as was the case for the last two days. I joined a dear friend and colleague in the delivery of a leadership workshop for some of her clients. We have our own brand of magic when we collaborate to support and challenge groups like this one, and as she dropped me off at the airport, we both felt pretty darn good about our contribution to the growth of these dedicated folks.
In the background, however… turbulence. My friend’s wedding was a motivation for another Newfoundland trip a few years ago. Sadly, her relationship is coming to an end and, as is often the case, this separation is a trigger for some reflection and questioning. Re-uniting the dream team for this workshop also brought my own internal debates to the forefront. These co-facilitated sessions that get people to plunge into the deep end of the self-awareness pool are more rewarding and pleasant for me than facilitating on my own, but are they enough to keep me fully engaged in this work I’ve been enjoying for almost 9 years now? I really don’t know; though I think I really do!
The fog that is hampering the clarity of my way forward is no doubt contributing to my hesitation to act. Fear of turbulence resulting from making a change while unsure of my desired destination is a potent inhibitor.
Turbulence, however, is what reminds you that you’re flying. In fact, I’m constantly amazed at how relatively little bouncing around there is as we zoom through the air at 900km/hr. And so it is with life… mine anyway. I’m extremely fortunate on so many levels and I would do well to use this light turbulence as a reminder of the awesome journey which I continue with gratitude.
“Turbulence is life force. It is opportunity. Let’s love turbulence and use it for change.” – Ramsey Clark
Turbulence – Steve Howe