Wednesday, August 21, 2013


I've been thinking about the concept of cultivation. I started thinking about this after a conversation about whether it's better to "bloom where you're planted" or "plant yourself where you want to bloom". The more I thought about it, I realized both concepts put a lot of power in the soil. Really, those sayings assume the blooming is affected by where it's done. And that's true. The nutrients, the water, the air, every bit of the environment that surrounds any living things affects its growth.

Often in life, you can't affect the bloom. If you're an iris bulb, you will produce an iris bloom. If you're a swan, you'll be a swan, if you're a dog you're a dog, and so on. It's just going to happen, and that's a miracle in itself. But how do you help those swans and dogs you love to be the highest form of swans and dogs they were meant to be? You cultivate the surroundings you share. It's the best you can do. 

To cultivate is to promote or improve growth through labor and attention. Standing at the edge of the lake and yelling at a swan to go make a nest and quit pooping in the lake and spread those wings and fly is not going to have an affect on the swan or the lake. It's really just going to make you crazy. To have an affect on how things you love bloom, you're much better off paying attention, adding appropriate labor, and cultivating the environment you share. It's the best we can do.