Celebrating Bloom

peonies personal garden celebrating bloom early

Peonies were important in my growing up years. That was the 60s and 70s. In Edmonton, Alberta. They were important flowers to my Mom, Myrna. And to my Grandma, Fern. In rather scarce times, flowers like this were our abundance. It’s what we had. It’s what we celebrated.

This particular peony above is a gift last year from my friend Meg. I celebrate it too. Now with its many buds about to burst to hand-wide pinks and whites. And planted at our home where Dana and I flower our 60-something love.

There is a blooming instinct in most of us, isn’t there. Whether in the growing that happens as young people, or in the growing that happens in last thirds. It’s a desire to flower. To be appreciated. To offer beauty. It’s a desire to contribute to systems and circumstances with joy. To contribute in a way that affirms life. And celebrates bloom.

Yah. Excited about these peonies. And all this life growing.

New Stories, New Possibilities

I loved so much about the call that I participated in yesterday. With NewStories. With Bob Stilger. With Z. And Ally. And the 25 others that gathered.

We were celebrating Bob, who just turned 75. We were witnessing NewStories in a next chapter. We were listening to an invitation to do deep and meaningful community work.

This gathering included check-in on what we celebrate. For me, I named that I’m celebrating old friends. That includes Bob. Our early Berkana days go back 30 years now. I notice I’m enjoying extra these 30 year friendships and colleagueships. We’ve supported a lot together. And followed some mystery. And found a few next steps.

Bob offered an appreciation yesterday, a belief from the Shinto ways of being — “Everything has life. People. Things. Stones. Foods. Everything. We live in a web of life.”

Yah, that one sings to me. Because it is part of what has connected us over these three decades. A love of learning. Of living. Of leadership that comes from such perspective.

Bob, Z, and Ally shared some of their deepest work — connecting values to principles to actions. To create the deeper ecologies for learning and for living with life.

What a treat. Helps me remember important layers. Stories. Possibilities.

A Little Tuesday Potpourri of Learning

I’m oriented to learning. In my core. I have been since the early days. My Grandmothers kind of baked it into me. And a few other important guides I’ve loved and that have loved me.

Whether it is learning about potted herbs, tomatoes, and peppers — like these above that Dana and I planted on the weekend — or about big stories with big sweeping purposes.

So often the purpose for me, the simple purpose, is to learn. It’s what we do. It’s what we are. Learn of self. Learn of others. Learn of going well together. Learn of surrender and flow.

You know. The basics that never end. Learn to be curious. To follow joy. To celebrate. To meet self and others where they are, with invitation to learn. To face hard things. To find meaning. To invite meaning.

So, a little Tuesday mix:

  • From Meg Wheatley’s newest book Restoring Sanity, “…leadership has never been more difficult…we need to restore sanity by awakening the human spirit…through generosity, creativity, and kindness”
  • From the Poet Mary Oliver, “Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”
  • From my recent conversation with Toke, “…life is wise…what joy to be living ourselves and in company of others with such learning…”
  • Back to Meg, “life always moves to higher order; it uses messes to get there…”

There is joy, much joy to me, to orient to learning. It centers me. Just like my Grandmothers. And these pots of herbs, tomatoes, and peppers planted with Dana.

From The Podcast — The Art and The Heart

Such a sweet conversation with Toke Moeller recently. Loads of learning. And remembering. And story. And laughter. And pauses. And encouragements

It’s 58 minutes. The Art and The Heart — Practicing Peace. I’ll listen several times. Perhaps you too. Share as inspired. Or just listen and dwell.

Many themes that invite practicing peace, starting with self, “one meter around us.” And, as I love with Toke, many themes that invite presence, heart, clarity, kindness, practice. Together.

As contributions of courage to ourselves and with others that we share work and community.

Yup, a sweet resource.