August 1986. I was lying on the deck of a sail boat in Georgian Bay. It was evening and I was looking at the bright stars in the dark sky. My family was below deck and although there were sounds in the distance, I felt alone. In a good way.
Life was full of potential. I was twenty three years old and I was about to start at the National Theatre School in a few weeks, studying acting. I had met Deb in the play I had just finished and a kiss or two had been exchanged. Although there was nothing concrete in our relationship, there was potential. So much potential.
In that state of awareness of the potentials in front of me, I studied the Big Dipper in the sky. I imagined reaching up and plucking it out of the constellations. In my imagination, it solidified and became a real ladle that I could scoop a batch of potential available to me and to everyone. That potential was as big as Lake Ontario and the amount that I could possibly use in my entire life was the size of the “dipper” in my hand.
I’ve thought about that image many times in the ensuing 33 years.
We can only act on so much of the potential available to us. With each choice to do something, you may be deciding not to do something else. But the potential available to us is much more than we can appreciate.
And yet we often live our lives feeling that there isn’t enough. That we aren’t enough.
We look at what we don’t have and often don’t appreciate what we do have.
Most of the time we have more than we know. We just have to dip our ladle into that potential.
© 2019 Peter Gruner