Allay your fears, be still, concentrate

Hermese

Be prepared

With these words, we can think of the Scouts’ watchwords. If you’re like me, having attended the secondary school I attended, you would probably be taken back to the school assembly with the principal (may she rest in peace), who always cautioned, ‘A word to the wise […]’. She would utter these words after some manner of reproof for not conducting ourselves as young women worthy of the name of the school to which we belonged. Without fail, as she concluded her warning, she would exit quite dramatically, leaving us to wallow in deafening silence, to struggle with our thoughts and to consider well our next move.

I never liked those warnings. Neither did I fancy her other warning words, ‘Forewarned is to be forearmed.’ The words suggested such dire consequences for anyone who would dare to ignore the word or the forewarning. They did instil a certain fear in me, though. They instilled a fear in me to walk the straight and narrow path. Her words convicted me to be prepared at all times. Her words inspired me to be watchful and sober, to be vigilant. I didn’t want to be the one to be caught offside, to be caught off-guard. No, siree! I had to have my lamp trimmed and lit, with extra oil to boot! I didn’t want to be left out in the cold or the dark.

Now, many years after those moments (I’ve long since left school), I find myself reflecting on those words and I ask myself, ‘Are you ready? Are you ready for what’s next? You’ve been waiting for this moment for such a long time, you’ve been pondering these things in your heart now for years, you have been desiring a move for some time now…are you ready?’

Am I ready for what’s in store for me? Have I considered well my next move?

Honestly, I don’t know if I’m ready. I couldn’t say definitively that I am. What I do know, however, is that there is a series of steps that I find myself needing to take and I trust that I am being guided well. I trust that the movements are part of the ritual of preparation. Sometimes I experience these movements almost as an alter-self. I observe myself following a certain impulse and I question, ‘Do you know what you’re doing?’ In those moments, I don’t stop and respond. In those moments, I can’t afford to stop. Why? Well, firstly, because if I stop, I lose momentum and, secondly, if I stop I would probably be stricken with the fear and trepidation that I see yet I do not see what’s before me. I know what the long-term objective is, but not the short-term goal. Sounds confusing? Well, that’s why I can’t afford to stop.

So, I march on resolute for there’s no turning back for me, not now, not when I’ve come this far. I march on because, after all this time, I would be thrilled to see the outcome. I march on in my ritual of preparation. I march on. Like Johnnie Walker, I keep walking.

I keep walking in my ritual of preparation and I conclude: I’m not ready at the moment. I have every assurance, however, that if I continue in my ritual of preparation that I will be ready, I will be prepared at the appointed time. You, my beloved, will be among the first to know when that time has arrived and whether I was indeed prepared.

In closing, I encourage you to keep walking in your own ritual of preparation. Won’t you share with me what that looks like?

Until next time, I salute you with love, peace and joy.

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