Saturday, March 1, 2008

Serendipity and a Leap of Faith

Serendipity, I have always loved that word. It comes from the Persian folktale, The Three Princes of Serendip; "as their highnesses travelled, they were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of..."

You see, my entry into the world of storytelling back in 1999 was a very serendipitous event.It was then that I attended a teacher's conference in New Hampshire and one day, during our lunch break, we were treated to a wonderful storyteller. She shared amazing tales of growing up in Africa, woven around lush folktales from her culture. I was hooked! Although I graduated with an degree in English Literature I was unaware of this ancient art of Oral Tradition or a career in storytelling. When I returned home I immediately began to research. This is not as easy as it sounds, we are talking pre-Google time! Within a few months I attended my first storytelling workshop and within a year my first Northlands Storytelling Conference in Iowa. I began my new journey, at first taking baby steps, then skipping along for a bit, and later running to catch up, thankful for the many hands and voices that lifted me up when I stumbled along the way.

So in this Leap Year I decided to take my own personal leap. After 14 years working at my local elementary school I submitted my resignation. I have decided to move from part-time/sometime storyteller to full time teller. I finish in three weeks but will continue to work with my student storytelling troupe. My administrator has assured me that as long as he is there the program will continue. I am blessed.

As I leave the cold, crisp days of February in New England behind and welcome in the windy days of March, it is with a mixture of hope, faith, and a wee bit of trepidation that I begin another journey. I know it won't happen overnight but if not now when? As the Chinese proverb teaches, "The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now."