A New Threshold

I’m not surprised it’s rained every day since we came back from break.  It’s been a big week.  On Monday I announced to the staff, and Tuesday to our current families, that at the beginning of August I will step into a new role at the Seed, founding director.  Danielle Dueppen, our wise and well prepared assistant director, will become the executive director of the school.  We have worked toward this for the past three years, with each other and the board of directors, to establish a succession plan that will ensure strong leadership for the Seed in years to come.  There are few things more important to me than making sure Awakening Seed thrives long into the future, far beyond my own lifetime.  I have work calling me that I’m hoping will contribute significantly to the Seed’s longevity.

John O’Donohue, the late Irish poet and philosopher, referred to these life transitions as thresholds.  In his book, To Bless the Space Between Us, he wrote, “A threshold is not a simple boundary; it is a frontier that divides two different territories, rhythms and atmospheres. Indeed, it is a lovely testimony to the fullness and integrity of an experience or a stage of life that it intensifies toward the end into a real frontier that cannot be crossed without the heart being passionately engaged and woken up…It is wise in your own life to be able to recognize and acknowledge the key thresholds; to take your time; to feel all the varieties of presence that accrue there; to listen inward with complete attention until you hear the inner voice calling you forward.”   My relationship with Awakening Seed has always been this way.   From the very beginning in 1977, when I was invited by my spiritual teacher to start the school, it’s been a calling.  At the time I had two young daughters and I would have loved nothing more than to be a stay-at-home mom.  However, it was evident that the planet needed the Seed, so I chose the work.

Over the past nearly four decades, I’ve often been asked if I felt a sense of accomplishment for creating the Seed.  This question never made sense because, in my heart of hearts, the Seed has never been about me.  Now when I’m asked how I did it, this is my response:  “I didn’t make the Seed.  I chose good people who could be trusted to do the work, and they, along with the students and their families, made the Seed.”

A new threshold calls me forward into deeper Seed work.  I am excited about the openness that lies before me and for Awakening Seed.  John O’Donohue added this about thresholds: “No threshold need be a threat, but rather an invitation and a promise. Whatever comes, the great sacrament of life will remain faithful to us, blessing us always with visible signs of invisible grace. We merely need to trust.”

I have deep trust in Danielle to lead the Seed with integrity and grace.  I have faith in the teachers to keep showing up day after day to give children a living, authentic education that will remain with them the rest of their lives.  I trust that all the people involved in the school (the board, the alumni, the parents, the community) will continue to support the Seed and its mission.  I trust myself to keep working diligently as long as I am needed.  Most of all, I trust the students themselves—past, present and future—to carry the Seed’s essence  into their lives, bringing healing and balance to Planet Earth.

3 thoughts on “A New Threshold

  1. Congratulations Mary as you embark on a new threshold bringing more balance, peace and joy to our world!

  2. As you step through this threshold, I think of Ralph Peterson, one of your mentors, who wrote so brilliantly about thresholds,. This wiisdom continues to be shared. Thank you, Mary for the thresholds we have shared across the miles, across the years.

  3. I am so happy for you Mary as you move into your next stage of life’s work and joy. You are a catalyst for so many and have given so much to so many. I am blessed to know you and have benefitted by your presence in my life. Many blessings always! Love, Mary Beth

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