I was recently very inspired by Naomi’s post about the ongoing and unending process of Becoming a Druid.
There is no end point of having become a Druid such that you can sit back and not bother any more. There is always more to know, further to reach, more to love and opportunities for being confused, overwhelmed, awed and inspired.
When I started out along this path, I had no sense of that at all. I was a somewhat spiky young human and I had a great deal of need to prove some things. Part of the process of becoming has, for me, involved a process of letting go. When I started, I needed to get to the place (wherever it was) where I would be recognised and taken seriously. I was generally short of feeling recognised, valued or taken seriously and being in my early twenties really didn’t help with that.
I imagined that achieving Druid grade with OBOD would Mean Something. When I got there, I would Be something. By the time I got there I realised I was just beginning, but had also come to feel very cheerful about that prospect.
When I started out, the idea of it taking nine years of study to become a Druid historically, frustrated me. Of course I could do it faster than that! I could work harder, try more, be cleverer than anticipated and shave a few years off. And now, having been doing this for a lot more than nine years, I feel further away from the imagined goalposts than I did when started, and also entirely at ease with that. It just doesn’t matter anymore.
I am regularly surprised and delighted by how much I do not know, and by how much I have to learn. I am smaller and less able than my younger self could bear to acknowledge. I’ve come to accept that I do not have to know everything, or be brilliant in all ways and that’s incredibly liberating. I am not required to magically have the answers and there are no guarantees yesterday’s answers would hold up today, anyway.
There is nothing to do but show up with an open heart, willing to explore, and to see what happens. Always a work in progress, only finished when dead (assuming we stop then, and I’m not actually sure). Always becoming.
We have such a success and achievement orientated culture. It has taken me a lot of my more than nine years to unpick that a bit, and stop obsessing about being qualified. It is enough that today there is sun, there will be orchids and good company and I have laundry to do. Hello sun. Hello orchids. Hello socks… The mysteries of existence are great, and numerous, and there is no dishonour in being a small thing muddling along in a state of wonderful bemusement.