In The Midst of Winter

In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.
— Albert Camus

Winter has this way of making me curl up inside myself.  It makes me look inward forcing me to get comfortable within.  Like a hibernation before the spring, or the gestation before the bloom.  There is a lot happening in that quiet before we move forward with a sense of newness.  The word "reflection" comes to mind but this is a deeper connection than that word lends meaning.  New Years and anniversaries tend to make us reflect on what has come before and look ahead to where we are going.  So, today, in the midst of winter and on an anniversary, I find myself somewhere in between this connection and reflection.  See a year ago today we launched the Power Flower Project website.  It was a commitment to expanding the experience of Power Flower beyond our community.  A way of sharing with others the gift of connection and kindness while tearing down insecurities and isolation.  It was filled with excitement, dreams, goals and we'd be lying if we didn't mention a wee bit of fear.

We chose to launch the website on Inauguration Day.  After a long election season where we witnessed from our "leaders" calls to violence and hateful rhetoric that left us feeling more divisive than united, our choice of launch date was full of purpose.  Some may say, "Don't get political" but I have to agree with, the good Friar, Richard Rohr when he states, " There is no such thing as being non-political. Everything we say or do either affirms or critiques the status quo.  Even to say nothing is to say something."   So for the last year we've been getting political and pollinating kindness, spreading encouragement and creating connections by doing our best to overcome our shortcomings to look you in the eye and say, "I see you.  From my beautiful mess to yours, I see you."  It was awesome, we handed out a lot of flowers, met a lot of beautiful people and encouraged others to start pollinating all the way from Colorado to Chile! (mind blown)  It brought new friends, and babies to love.  It brought new jobs to stoke our passions and use our skills.   It was also a hard year, full of loss, failures and hardships.  We didn't find as many Pollinators as we hoped or hand out wellness grants.  We've even neglected this website for months.  I look around and I see communities more divided...connections getting weaker and hatred, not kindness, more prevalent in our day to day.  

This may seem terribly discouraging and to some is.   But, I find myself looking into the reflection, in the midst of winter, and finding something stronger.  And so I say, "Onward."  Put down your tools of fear and take up those weapons of love and kindness. It's our pledge to you and we believe a flower is a powerful weapon. Let's use our eyes to be curious and truly see the beauty in one another. So wherever you are and whomever you see...let's keep connecting.  Pollinate kindness, to yourself and others.  Sow the seeds of curiosity and let's see what can grow when we consider the uniqueness, beauty and strength each of us humans have to offer.   Don't worry, from time to time we will fail at this too and often in the most miserable of ways.  But don't fret, that's just part of being human.  So as we sit here, marking a milestone, looking back with grace on last year and hope for the year ahead, I leave you not with a bouquet of flowers to brighten this winter day but with more words.  Words that have been ruminating around in my head keeping me thinking about purpose.....thinking about you.

A person is a person through other persons. None of us comes into the world fully formed. We would not know how to think, or walk, or speak, or behave as human beings unless we learned it from other human beings. We need other human beings in order to be human. I am because other people are...
— Desmond Tutu