Visiting Grand Portage is an invitation to reflect on resiliency, endurance, and grit. As I stood on the dock of this historic site, I realized I was half way across the country. Like the French Voyageurs I could go east to the Atlantic or go west to the Pacific. These type of big decision moments are often called Threshold Moments.
Voyageurs traveling from Montreal on Lake Superior faced threshold moments when they discovered a wall of water at the 120 foot Pigeon Falls. These falls stood between their loaded canoes and the interior forts where they were to deliver their goods. They made the decision to take a nine-mile trek around 120 foot Pigeon Falls, now called the Grand Portage, Git-che-O-ni-ga-ming in Ojibwe.
Threshold moments can be exciting, joyful, filled with wonder, anxiety producing, confusing, scary, and intimidating. And, many more emotional mixes. When was the last time you had a threshold moment?
Here are some examples:
- Leave a job and/or start a new one
- Move to a new location
- Care for a family member
- Add a family member
- Take a sabbatical
- Face a health challenge
- Grieve the loss of loved one
All of these threshold moments require curiosity, courage, grit and creativity. Curiosity to be full of wonder about what is possible as you navigate forward. Courage to explore and think about the options, compare and contrast them, and make decisions on facts and gut instincts. Grit to persevere. And, creativity to solve a challenge that honors your strengths, values, sense of place, community, health and energy.
So, my fellow Voyageur, what threshold moment are you facing in these times?
Who can you ask to travel with you? Who will walk the path of resiliency, courage, grit and creativity with you to support you on your journey?