Last week I had a wondrous experience. As I walked my dog Friday evening, March 20th, the first official day of Spring in this Northern Hemisphere, I saw 7-8 neighbors gathered at a fence near a horse field. Where I live, Lindon, Utah, is a place that I often describe as “where urban meets rural.” What used to be apple and peach orchards, and what used to be farms and ranches, have given way to housing developments. Many, but not all of them. This means that within walking distance of my town home, there are a couple of horse pastures. It’s not countryside. It is country wrapped within municipality.
I stopped with those neighbors to see what they were watching. It was a foal, born 15 minutes prior to my arrival. Not more than 20 feet away from where I stood. The mom, the mare was grazing. The foal was wobbling on her new legs, awkwardly so. Then falling. Plopping to the ground. Then trying again. The neighbor that lives there was helping the foal. Supporting her a bit to find her balance. In this picture taken two days later, the mom is the white horse. The foal is the cute one posing for the camera. The dark horse in the background is a sister to the foal.
“New life,” I thought, with awe. Other neighbors gathered, up to a group of about twenty. It was celebration. Many of them are far more familiar with horses than me. I stayed and watched, about 30 minutes, until it was too dark to see further.
I’ve shared that story with several people since then. Seeing this, what, 50 pound, 3 feet tall “baby” filled and fills me with awe. “New life,” I’ve celebrated as I’ve shared it. A friend, Chris Corrigan, reframed it for me. “Life in a new body.”
Ah yes, that’s it! He reminds me. Life is. It moves to new forms. Life as spirit. Life as energy. Life as a human. Birth and death are associated with form. Many of us tend to associate “life” with the temporal body. But the story that is more compelling to me is that life and energy continue to express itself in new forms.
There are at least a dozen immediate implications of this awareness that come to mind, applied to leadership. I find myself thinking immediately of structures in organizations. Committees come and go. Teams come and go. People come and go. The life energy that each carries, and that generates together, serves for a time (or doesn’t), and then, stops. Another friend calls this “disappearing structures.”
Yes, so there are many meanings and insights that come from witnessing this life. This foal. These wobbly legs. Key among them is the reminder that life changes forms. It’s invitation and reminder to me to be flexible. Curious. Not hold too tightly. Adapt. Like life itself.
I’ve walked each day since in that direction with just a bit more anticipation. This foal is so not “mine.” Yet I feel a kind of added link with her in seeing her so young.