Are You My Teacher?
There was a children’s book some of us may remember called, Are You My Mother? It was about a baby bird who hatches from her egg while Mama is out hunting for food to bring home to the nest. The hatchling doesn’t know who or where she is, and goes on an adventure to track down her mother. She meets a cow, a horse, a fox — repeating ,with increasing anxiety, “Are you my mother?” At one point, I think she even asks a garbage truck who simply replies…SNORT!
This book came to mind the other night (at 3:24am of course), when I reflected back on a recent piece from Mark Nepo’s, The Book of Awakening, where he writes about our life teachers being everywhere — even if we don’t know we need them.
“Whether through birds in snow, or geese honking in the dark, or through the brilliant wet leaf that hits your face the moment you are questioning your worth, the quiet teachers are everywhere…”
So, there I was lying awake pre-dawn, staring at the ceiling, when it occurred to me that if teachers are everywhere and largely unseen, shouldn’t we all be asking, just as the baby bird did, “Are you my teacher?” I mean, shouldn’t we be unabashedly curious and always on the lookout for when one might show up?
Teachers can be people, sure. But they can be synchronicity or coincidence too. Or a strong and persistent knowing that won’t leave you alone. They’re in the easy times and the tough ones too. Bold and obvious or…quiet. Elusive.
So look around. Who’s right in front of you? Or nowhere in sight? What teaching signs and experiences are presenting themselves to you? How might you cultivate connection to help you grow and exercise your super powers?
And then when you sense you’ve found one, all you have to do is ask, “Are you my teacher?”