About a year ago, my mentor gave me a star made out of beads and wire. I wear it on a lanyard attached to my cell-phone. About a week after she gave it to me, we were on a beach that had been battered by a storm, and there were bits of sea-weed and live sea snails all over. The snails were floundering about, some moving in the wrong direction, all struggling to get back to the sea. There were just so many....
Well the memory of my mentor currying those snails back into the water is so firmly implanted in my memory.
And then I read Leo Buscaglia's "Living, Loving & Learning" (New York: Ballantine Books, 1982):
"The other day I was on a beach with some of my students, and one of them picked up an old, dried-out starfish, and with great care he put it back in the water. He said, "Oh, it's just dried out but when it gets moisture again, it's going to come back to life." And then he thought for a minute, and he turned to me, and he said, "You know, Leo, maybe that's the whole process of becoming, maybe we get to the point where we sort of dry out, and all we need is a little more moisture to get us started again." When I picked myself off the sand, I said, "Wow!" Maybe this is what it's all about." (pg. 52).
I'm going to send a copy of the book to my mentor with a star-shaped bookmark, and a thank-you note.