Spring’s sprung here in Holland MI. It is a delight to see the tulips blooming, the green leaves emerging on the trees, and the brown grass turn green again as I experience the last vestiges of winter followed by a cool spring.
The Tulip Festival here is spectacular with over one million tulips in bloom lining our streets, downtown, and parks in the community. It is truly a celebration of the arrival of spring.
During our weekly team meeting, we share our concerns, gratitude, and joy. It is our virtual “water cooler” moment that helps me stay connected with each person as we move through life together. Here are a few of mine.
Being vaccinated has lowered my health concern. I feel I have moved out from under the shadow of COVID although I am still aware of its presence, especially here in Michigan. My other concerns relate to business, such as having work for our team to do, cash flow for payroll, debt service, and other obligations. I continue to be aware of our precarious national economy with supply chain part shortages causing plant shutdowns and lack of workers to do the work.
My gratitude list is much longer than my list of concerns. Health, my spouse, our clients, my co-workers, work, and the list goes on. I am eternally grateful for my life and all that it brings both joy and sadness.
Winter has moved into spring, and soon spring to give way to summer, summer to be followed by fall, and back to winter; much like my life has moved from birth, youth, adulthood, and old age. The arch of my life is filled with memories (real and imaged) for which I am grateful. Single hand sailing a large sailboat on the Great Lakes, flying a small plane, and riding a fast motorcycle are all part of the “ing” list of things for which I am grateful and that moved my life forward. Traveling to Japan, China, the Palau Islands in the South Pacific, and Belgium, Germany and France opened my eyes to the multi-cultural world in which I live.
Joy comes to me in the form of small moments. Watching the sunrise over Lake Macatawa from the top of Mt Pisgah reminds me that every day is a new day and a fresh start. The past is, well, past, and the future is not here yet, so the moment is all that there is. Staying in the moment is a challenge for my “monkey” mind, but my morning meditation helps me to do so.
For more than thirty years our clients have trusted me and our team to “give information meaning” for them. It has been a true joy to work alongside them as they work to improve the lives of the people they serve. Being allowed to contribute to their success has been a pleasure. We have benefited from working in over 200 communities in 49 states with the economic development network of professionals. Teaching at the Economic Development Institute for over 30 years was an outstanding joy in my life and a way to give back to the economic development profession.
Seeing the garden seeds sprout in my raised bed garden brings me joy and wonder about the cycle of living things. The radish seeds are up and turning into radishes. The pea seeds from our heirloom seed-lending library have sprouted despite our cool spring temperatures. The perennial oregano is still trying to take over the garden and reminds me of persistence and the need to stay focused. The garden also teaches me the cyclical nature of the universe and the repetitious patterns that feed my curiosity to wonder “what’s next?” What about you? What are your concerns, gratitude, and joy?