Wednesday Words

At My Life’s Work, we view opportunities for independent reflection as important in a person’s own process for building self-awareness, wisdom, new behaviors, and different actions.

Every other week, we publish a new edition of our “Wednesday Words” to support your own personal or professional development process. Check back regularly for new essays, email us your feedback, and please share with friends and colleagues.

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March 19, 2014 - Bulbs

The scene outside my window is picturesque but, give me a break already…10 inches of snow.  Where are the bulbs?

Truth be told, a few days ago, it was seventy degrees and I swear I detected their first splashes of purple, white, and yellow in the dirt along a familiar footpath.

I suppose this climate phenomenon can be chalked up to the “lambs & lions” with which we’re all familiar in March.

Back to the bulbs themselves.  I began to think more about them after reading Anne Lamott’s book of essays, Stitches.

“Wildflowers stop you in your hiking tracks.

You want to savor the colors and scents, let them breathe you in,

let yourself be amazed.

And bulbs that grow in the cold rocky dirt

remind us that no one is lost.”

We have a few months until the wildflowers.  Yet, very early Spring beckons us to re-claim what we’ve lost over the Winter…or perhaps even a longer period of time.

When you think about it, we are in essence bulbs.  The ingredients we require for our grand debuts may vary.  We “splash” in different ways.   But, humans, as bulbs, travel through seasons of hibernation and then decide it’s time to wake up

Easier said than done, I know.  The bulbs I’ve recently encountered on my fleeting “Spring” walks play a game of hide and seek.  One moment they’re out and the next they’ve disappeared…I suppose until it’s reasonably hospitable outside.  People behave similarly.   What helps us to get out and then stay out?

Like bulbs, people at times, myself included, only emerge from the “rocky dirt” when conditions are “guaranteed” to be safe, promising.    However, that’s only half the solution. We often need to recognize the increasingly “intolerable,” if not familiar, conditions of the “rocky dirt” itself and decide it’s time to put our “petals” to the metal.

Whether we are auditioning for a new job or career, or flexing new professional or personal muscles, venturing out and, perhaps, above, and beyond solid ground is what we, as bulbs, are called to do.    Yes, our audience will include people who gaze at us gratefully but also those who stomp on us absent-mindedly. Like “my” crocuses last week, if our first effort at arrival and revival doesn’t work, we will have to make second and third, more practiced, attempts.  Spring does not come easily…as my aforementioned picturesque window scene reminds.

Truth be told, your “winter” is only ever as long as you want it to be.   It ends when you decide to join the ranks of bulbs that have bloomed.   Like them, you’ll see that hard work yields colorful abandon.  Like them, you too will stop others in their hiking tracks.  Like them, you will be the subject of savor and amazement.  And only then will you too savor and find amazement in something new.