On the back acre of my parents property, way back, past the big tree, down the ravine, over the bridge, across the stepping rocks, through the tall grass, and up the sledding hill there was a hidden gateway to a parallel universe. It was never in exactly the same spot and you could search forever and never find it, but if you happened to need to be there, you would stumble through almost on accident, the transference causing a momentary disorientation which would quickly lapse as the terrain and surroundings were remarkably similar to home. But the me there was never lacking and could be anything I wanted her to be.
I am often searching for one of those magic doorways to find someplace where I do not make mistakes. Where my conversation is clever and my humors understood. Where I am sunny and graceful and fun.
I unlock the door to my academy. Catch a glimpse of myself in the mirrors as I walk through my morning routine. See who I was, who I am now, who I am becoming. I witness the light that goes on in so many of our students, when they realize they can do something, that they are strong and good and special. And it’s okay to not be perfect. I have seen it even in me. But there is no enchantment, just encouragement and support, perseverance and practice. It is a never-ending exploration of self. What we can discover is beyond price.