Becoming the Hero on Our Journey Finding and Offering our Gift to the World

“When you’ve lost your way

Colors start to fade

Take a look within

Find your offering

Hold it to the sun

Let your spirit run

Remember

Remember find your center

My love it’s just a reminder

Find your center

My love it’s just a reminder”

-Trevor Hall, The Fruitful Darkness, “A Reminder”

I was sipping a cup of coffee in the doorway of my tent one misty morning on the beach when my fellow guide, Ryan, approached me with a song to listen to. It was titled, “A Reminder,” from Trevor Hall’s album, The Fruitful Darkness. He told me that something I said to one of our Rites of Passage students about finding our center as we go through the Hero’s Journey reminded him of this song, so he wanted to share it with me. I sank into it’s melody immediately.

I love this song because it reminds us that the whole journey is just a reminder to find our center. As John Muir said, “Going out was really going in.” The part that stood out to me was about how we find our center by looking within and finding our offering, our gift, which we then hold up to the sun. It’s the key to the whole Hero’s Journey. The gift, the “elixir of life” as Joseph Campbell would say, is what makes the hero a Hero.

When I share this with our students at Rites of Passage, it can carry a heavy weight of expectation. As if it’s not enough for them to simply get through this program for themselves, now they have to bring something back for the people at home. Finding your gift can be a daunting thing when you’re only just finding yourself, but what a relief to discover that finding yourself is finding your gift.

“My love it’s just a reminder

Find your center”

In that moment, we remember that a tree takes time to grow before it offers its fruit, its gift, to the world. And just like the seed is not responsible for the tree that grows, neither is the tree responsible for how its gift is received. The tree only needs to offer its gift to be complete.

“Take a look within

Find your offering”

The tree brings forth its fruit from within. It does not find it somewhere in the wilderness around it, it brings it from within and offers it to the wilderness without. We don’t hike all over the Olympic National Park (or journey to the edges of our maps) because we expect to find our gift somewhere out there. We do it in order to find our center, that sacred space within where our gift already is. The pilgrim does not travel to become something but to unbecome all that he or she is not.

“Take a look within

Find your offering

Hold it to the sun

Let your spirit run

Remember

Remember find your center”

 

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