I had an experience today that was so surreal, if it weren’t for others being present I would be convinced it were a dream. But first a little background…
I’m currently reading Soulcraft by Bill Plotkin, which is basically a trail guide to the soul. He discusses tools for discovering your soul’s deepest purpose, finding what is genuinely yours to offer the world. Each one of us has a sacred task to perform in our commmunity, a gift that contributes to the healing and wholing of the world. A gift that is uniquely ours, that cannot be performed in the same way by any other individual, and a gift that the world needs.
Joining the Peace Corps was the beginning of my quest to find myself as an adult, independent from the world that I grew up in. I felt my soul calling me to relinquI want to know without a doubt: who am I at my deepest depths? What are my gifts, and what do I live for? Finding out requires letting go of the familiar and the comfortable, therefore I’ve responded to the call to adventure and begun my journey, because my life depends on it.
Lately I have been wondering a great deal at what my purpose is here in my Fijian community. I want have an impact in a way that feels authentic and meaningful. In all of my current dreaming (day and night), I’ve thought to myself- how do I even have the ability to think creatively? To imagine? To dream? And what can I do to inspire such curiosity in the many beautiful little souls that I’m getting know here in my new home? If I am to leave a legacy here, when my tiny friends are one day adults who hear the faint voice of their soul calling, I want them to know enough to listen…
I must’ve had this thought with a book in hand, because I instantly thought—reading! Reading a good book can transport a child to worlds unknown, and encourage them to create these worlds for themselves. I was brought back to libraries of my past—visions of hours spent sprawled on carpets with colorful pages fanned before me flashed through my mind. I’m certain my sense of adventure was born through the pages of my favorite childhood stories. How wonderful would it be to start a small children’s library here in my community? It’s something as possible as it is meaningful.
This dream of a children’s library resonated deep within me. and over the past week the thought kept passing through my mind, like some part of me wanted to make sure I wouldn’t forget it. When the idea came to mind over my bowl of oatmeal this morning I resolved to write it down. There, I thought, now I won’t forget, and I can come back to this idea once I’m settled at my job.
After breakfast I walked over to my first day of work at the nursing station. Not a half-hour into my morning, as I walked past the waiting room door, I heard an older women say to the nurse, “Oh! Is that a Peace Corps?” I emerged from the clinic, wondering what this American woman might want of me, why it sounded like she was expecting me… Yes? I’m a Peace Corps…. I responded hesitantly. I had seen the woman walking the beach the week before, and she had appeared strangely familiar to me then. “Great!” She dropped her heavy bag to floor and knelt down to withdraw its contents. “I understand you’re starting a library,” she began, as she passed me 5 hardcover children’s books, “and I wanted to make sure to get these to you before I left for the US on Thursday.”
I was dumb-founded. Speechless. She explained that she is a Jungian Psychologist by trade, and had ordered these books because mythological and fairy tale characters are representative of different parts of the human psyche. How does one even respond when the universe has read her mind and so aptly, and clearly answered (and promplty too!)? I thanked her profusely for the beautiful books as she took her seat in the waiting room, unaware of all that had just transpired. I walked into the back office, arms full of books and heart full of awe.
I called my fellow PCV Lui to explain what had just happened, and to make sure that there wasn’t some library project that I was unaware of. Nope. The library she was referring to was “mine”. This was my soul reaching out into the universe and saying, do you need a sign?
After the gravity of what had happened settled in me, and I had a good laugh-cry out of the sheer amazement, I went out to say goodbye to the gift-giver, Pamela. She thanked me for taking the books. She’d been worried that she wouldn’t find me before she left, and she wanted to make sure that the books went to the community. She explained that a week prior she’d asked a man on a horse where she might be able to bring a set of children’s books, and he was the one who suggested the Peace Corps on the island… no mention of a library.
I told Pamela my story—about my recent soul-searching, the reoccuring day dream about a children’s library; about the fact that one hasn’t even made it past dream stage, yet here she is with books to start it… I showed her the note in journal from this morning, start a children’s library. Tears welled up in Pamela’s eyes, and her words caught in her throat. Her soft blue eyes looked straight into mine with knowing, “Thank you so much for sharing,” she said, “this is no accident, and now I know this is truly meant to be.” Without another word, she was out the door and down the dirt road home.
If I wasn’t awake before this morning, I’m wide awake now. Sometimes my heart needs signs like this to wake me back up. Moments like this are confirmation that there is more to this world than the physical reality that we behold with our eyes. We are all connected, and our paths cross in meaningful ways for a reason. Your soul is always calling, and what your soul wants is what the world needs. When you take the leap and listen to the voice of your soul, it is just the beginning of a journey of synchronicities and signs leading you to places you’ve only yet dreamed of…
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
― Mary Oliver