My friend Tom recommended this book to me this year. Tom is a fellow superintendent who plans to retire at the end of 2022. He is a talented leader, a musician, and on top of that, a very reflective person. He found this book meaningful to him as he was embarking upon his new journey of no longer being one of the epicenters of the world of education.
As I write this, I have just finished six months of being retired and not working. While I have dabbled in some consulting things, I already know a few things about this new life that Tom is going to find out. My life is incalculably more sane. I am able to devote my full attention to matters at hand at home. And my email and my phone traffic have decreased by 95%. That’s all beautiful, but it does mean that I am now rarely distracted by pressing matters that take me away from . . . me.
Tom recommended this book because it deals with topics of balance, aging, wonder, the beauty in landscape, solitude, and more.
John O’Donahue is a famous Irish poet. I have been accused by those who love me of being illiterate, and my lack of knowledge of anything O’Donohue has ever done might be exhibit 243B in that case. But that didn’t stop me. But I do recoil a little at poetry. Understand poetry requires a slowness in my mind that I am working on, but I have so far to go on. This book is a mixture of conversations O’Donohue had with others and poems written throughout his life. And like Mikey of Life Cereal fame, I surprised even myself by not just liking it, but truly finding a great deal of meaning in it.
I’m grateful to Tom for the recommendation, and if you’re interested, try it. You’ll like it.