Friday, April 8, 2011

Keeping Step With a Vision

In Nassau, Bahamas, between 1793-94, slaves were forced to carve a 102-foot staircase into the limestone ridge leading to Bennett's Hill and Fort Fincastle. Although the staircase reportedly had sixty-six original steps, it now has only sixty-five. Later, this historic site was named The Queen's Staircase to commemorate the alleged sixty-five years of Queen Victoria's reign. For the record, Queen Victoria reigned from June 20, 1837, until January 22, 1901, about five months shy of sixty-four years.

Climbing these dauntingly steep steps resembles progressive goals journeying toward a bigger vision. Start with the vision, memorialize it, then take the first step. Incremental achievements motivate us upward. If we feel discouraged, we can see how far we have come.

Creating the vision occasionally presents challenges. Unlike the Queen’s Staircase, though, a vision is not carved in stone. Starting from even glimpses, the vision over time becomes crystal clear.  A vision can change, too, or it adapts to changed circumstances. For example, this octagonal building built in 1797 as the Nassau jail now houses the Nassau Public Library and Museum!

What vision do you hold for your life? The day-to-day duties of life can feel more like trying to stay afloat in an endless ocean than traversing a groomed trail to a summit. When life feels off-course from what we think we envisioned, take refuge in the words of George Eliot, that "It is never too late to be what you might have been." 

At any moment lies the opportunity to reclaim or create a vision, and then you can take that courageous first step.

A statue of a young Queen Victoria guards the former British colonial seat of government in Nassau, Bahamas.
All photos by Nicole D. Mignone