It is Spring in Utah. Most days are now climbing into the mid 60s and low 70s F. Unlike most Springs in Utah, this year didn’t have a February or early March tease — a couple days of warm weather followed by more cold (that freezes buds, particularly on fruit trees). This year, it all waited until these mid April days.
With Spring comes buds. Like these just outside my east-facing window. They weren’t there three days ago. Yet now, there are thousands of these on hundreds of branches, all within easy sight. The green is all coming fast now and with vigor. On the flowering cherry trees. On the rose bushes. On the shrubs. On the raspberry canes. Buds bursting forward with life.
Twenty years ago through my work with Meg Wheatley and Bob Stilger, I became aware of a poem by American Poet Galway Kinnell. It’s a quote that these buds on my bushes are reminding me of.
stands for all things,
even for those things that don’t flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on its brow
of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing.”
So, offered with appreciation. Just because. Because the buds mesmerize me and companion me with my morning coffee. Because Galway Kinnell speaks to known relationships of loveliness that most people need and offer a few times in life — some even become it as way of being.
And, I would suggest that all of such wonder with buds has everything to do with the work that so many of us do with groups of people. So many of us are seeking to create healthy and whole containers together. So many of us are seeking to create wise and thoughtful process together.
What I’ve learned about such oblique references to buds and blooming is that people in most places want to be welcomed and integrated back to more holistic living. Sometimes that’s nature. Sometimes that’s a story. Sometime’s that’s an image. Sometime’s that’s an association.
For example, with this buds moment (a genuine appreciation for me), after sharing some story of the buds, I might ask, “Is there something in you that wishes irrepressible budding?” And then use process (Circle, Cafe, Partner Conversation) to deepen and appreciate the question. Or with a team or with an organization, “Is there something here among us as a group that we might follow to natural budding?” And then, process for encountering a bit of wander together.
I find that people appreciate life energy. I do. Not false hype. But realness. I find that people love invitation to seeing and feeling from many perspectives. I find that people want to contribute their life energy to their colleagues, their communities, and to their work. And thus, how sweet to bring formats for working with groups that enrich the tasks of the day, with, in this case, a simple association and welcome of budding.
A bow to Spring and to what it uniquely inspires.