Yesterday, I had the privilege of helping in a very small way to prepare for the Soft Opening of the New Alexandrian Library. I left early in the morning to avoid Delaware shore traffic and arrived ready to shelve books and do whatever else was needed. Walking into the building produced a wave of excitement and pride at what had been accomplished and what potential was held in its vision.
Bookcases filled the space and books, many of which are now out of print, that were lovingly donated to the library spread from row to row. There is something about the smell of books that have been treasured by their readers and evoke late night studies and a hunger for deeper knowledge. You could almost feel the crowded presence of authors penning there thoughts as practice and path flowed from the time spent with teacher and mentor. Years upon years of accumulated wisdom layered between titled covers that gave only the briefest hint of what lay between. This is the stuff of inspiration; palpable and indescribable in its broader effects.
As I stood in the entryway of the NAL I was reminded of the intention set from the first pouring of the foundation on July 23, 2012 to the completion of the building in December 2014. This was the manifest result of inspired dedication and commitment to something larger than the individuals involved guiding the course.
Inspiration comes in all forms. It is most often overlooked as we move through our busy lives. Each moment is one filled with potential, choice and the ability to allow its energy to inspire us to action, response and a new perspective. The obvious places we look are those of the creative arts. We think of the Muses as a source of inspiration stirring our emotions and fueling our desire to create.
Everything that we know, have and pursue is a product of inspiration. And, if you think in these terms then the idea that everything is connected and interconnected becomes easier to fully comprehend. Inspiration produces a chain effect that links inspiration to inspiration, action-to-action, creation-to-creation; on and on endlessly.
Although the focus of this writing has been on the New Alexandrian Library, I will carry the intention to be more present and aware of all that continues to inspire me in every setting. It may be the barista, who patiently takes the demanding order at the coffee shop who inspires me to have that same patience in my interactions with a work colleague. It may be a teacher whose passion for their subject has made its teachings less tedious who inspires me to change my approach as a teacher. It may be the stranger who helps me to collect my belongings after dropping them instead of walking blindly past. The gift of acknowledging these subtle inspirations is one of an opening to gratitude and from its place of awareness you become the source of inspiration for all around you.
These are just a few of my inspirations…
I am inspired by a vision that can become a reality.
I am inspired by the collaborative efforts of community that provide a legacy that will serve future generations in their seeking.
I am inspired by the courage needed to achieve what others may say is not achievable.
I am inspired by the sacrifice and willingness to serve to preserve the foundations of the past that will become the buildings of the future.
For more information about the New Alexandrian Library: