Today is the “Return Assembly” at Mount Madonna School for the Washington, D.C. experience. Here, our students will talk about what they learned on this recent journey. The “Return” is an essential part of each transformational journey. My dear friend, Sobonfu Somé, author and indigenous wisdom carrier once told me that it is the job of the village to welcome you back from an initiatory experience. This means that to truly complete the journey, we each need to be seen and heard in our new awareness, and we need to bring the gifts of what we have learned in that experience back to our community to be shared. She admonishes that not being seen at this stage creates isolation, even depression, and these important gifts can be lost if not acknowledged.
The “Call,” the “Journey” and the “Return” are the stages of the classical hero’s journey. The “Call” stage, is when we are invited to adventure. It is generally the point when the hero says “no” at least three times. Our “no” has a lot of information in it if we take the time to reflect. When I ask the students about the refusing the “Call” they understand it right away. They say, “It might not be worth it”, “I might fail”, “I might not be good enough”, “I am comfortable where I am”, “it is too much work”, and my favorite, “If I succeed then it will be expected of me in future.” The “Call” stage also contains the work of preparation, which can be demanding. Where do we find the energy to make an effort when we are unsure of the benefits?