I was lucky enough to spend my Saturday at a conference this week. Rising early before my eyes were open, to join a host of committed men and women at the 4th WomenEd Un-conference. I can truly say there is an energy I can’t describe at these events. A silent buzz, warm and fuzzy like a peach left out in the sunshine. With no sign of pomp or hierarchy. Perhaps it was because it was a Saturday and we flocked through choice and wonder? Perhaps it was just because this is my tribe.
There was the usual day-out sparkle in the air as we arrived at the majestic school building, like bees to the hive. Queuing up to be registered, get our badge and finally, that wonderful, first cup of coffee. You know the one. It’s not a cappuccino, it’s probably in a paper cup, but you’re out, away from the chores and actually in with a chance of drinking it hot!!
With a Bic-black tick, I had my badge. Registers mean a lot to me. They turned me into a teacher and still don’t disappoint. There’s something very special, very primal about saying that list of names. Those precious minds are here to be with me! And with them they bring abundance, imagination and a list of questions a hundred miles long! Nothing gets in the way of their inquisition. Not when connection has opened the door.
There have been so many times when I’ve forgotten to be present. As if the tick was on the page, but the ink, had disappeared. Sometimes I’ve been distracted, preoccupied, or as I now know, lost in my thoughts. I’ve missed checking myself in. I’ve forgotten at home, at work and indeed with my dearest friends. When I’ve remembered again and really taken time to be present, connection just happens.
So for Saturday at least, on that rainy morning in Derbyshire, you were my register. A wealth of shared stories, research projects and data, everything we work so hard for, everything that really matters and brought us here in the first place. And yet in the quietest of moments, in the silence of the noise there is a knowing in the air, the antidote to our busyness. Invisible wisdom reminds us that nothing really matters. Not when you have your tribe and their hope for what is possible and what has yet to be.