The Path of a Teacher

My motive in this post is simple – to ask readers how closely a recent dream describes their career path.

My motive in this post is simple – to ask readers how closely a recent dream describes their career path.

In the dream I was hiking through some hills outside Silver City, New Mexico. The valley floor floor was rocky and overgrown and difficult to pass. Looking up the steep slope to my right, I saw that a wide path had been cut that ran parallel to the valley. As I clambered up the slope each step required extra effort because my feet kept sinking into the soft soil.

Nonetheless, the effort was worth it; once I made the path, I was on easy street. But little by little, the path began to narrow and become less maintained. Then it became little more than trampled vegetation. Then it became intermittent, with unimproved sections of hillside separating whatever remained of the path.

Finally, all remnants of the once easy way were gone.

I looked around in all directions and saw that farther up the slope there was another path. This one wasn’t easy to get to and led to the top of the hill instead of paralleling the valley. Since I was curious about the view from the top – particularly what lay on the other side of the hill – I headed up.

It was a struggle to get to the new path. But once I made it, things got easier, even thought it was still a climb. When I neared the top, I saw that the crest was impeded by an overhang that was the most difficult obstacle yet.

I debated whether it was worth the effort and risk to try to surmount the overhang, particularly when I had no idea what lay beyond.

I made my decision and woke up.

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  • CarlDraeger

    We’re all in this together

    In my dream, the trail of my past had long stretches were the path was clearly defined followed by forks serendipitously appearing. The trail alternates from being somewhat difficult to see to being very clear-cut. The difficulty level remained low during the early years as the path became more constant, even familiar. As the need for growth sent out its siren song, the current path became decreasingly enjoyable. A more desirable option upwards is clear in the distance, but the path is rocky and unstable at the base. Several obstacles are clear in the distance, yet intuition speaks of the challenges unseen. Being able to see the destination aids in motivating the energy required in the traversing of the difficult terrain. The destination, once so clear in the distance, becomes more difficult to discern as proximity increases. More forks with level of difficulty signs (green circle to double black diamond) at their bases appear. Excitement and the need for adventure spur me to take the road requiring more of me than I currently have. Fortunately, I discover that I have never been alone on this journey. There have always been fellow sojourners surrounding me on the path. We’ve never been on the same exact path, but on intertwining paths with similar, not necessarily the same, destinations. We share stories of how we got to where we are as well as strategies for overcoming the common hurdles along our paths. We cheer our successes and console our missteps. We share the common bond of the purpose for being on the journey. I, too, made my choice and woke up.

    • SandyMerz

      Great Reply!

      Hey Doug,

      Your dream is just super – and dead on, too. It’s important that you point out that you’ve never been alone. That’s true for me – in fact new colleagues and support always seem to show up when I need them or to help find new directions. I hadn’t realized in my dream (which literally was a dream) that I was alone.