Our Guides are Real

In the midst of the bustle of this time of year, I pause. I reflect on who our Acton guides are. Not just their names, their backgrounds, their personalities, their skills and talents. But I ponder who they are deep down inside.

Aubrie, Anna and Kaylie are three very beautiful souls. Each of them is unique in their inward beauty; yet they hold one common characteristic that is evident: they are Real.

With deep gratitude to each of them for giving of themselves this year, I share this beloved text from “The Velveteen Rabbit” by Margery Williams.
“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

Thank you, Aubrie, Anna and Kaylie, for this wonderful year. You are deeply loved. You are, oh, so real.