|Constriction or Protection (C. Ives, 2016)|
Yesterday in the woods, I saw a Trillium curling in on itself, growing through dead leaves. At first I thought the leaves were impeding its growth, choking it off, and that I would be helping the flower if I removed them. But removing one taught me my error. Inside, the flower was still wet and tender, and I'd exposed it like ripping off a bandaid. The next few days will be cold. I felt sorry. I apologized to the little flower and hoped it would be strong. Then I looked around, really looked, and it dawned on me that growing through leaves seems as much like a strategy as happenstance. Many Trilliums were growing through leaves in much the same way.
I realized that the plant's own green, living leaves had wrapped themselves around the flower before it even bloomed. An arrow, they pointed themselves at a dead leaf and grew through it, allowing it to hold them wrapped tightly, protecting the bud through the crazy up and down weather of early Spring in Ontario.
When the flower is strong enough, it will naturally break off the dry, fragile leaf in its quest for the sun. When it has the tensile strength, when it feels its bloom pull it up, up, up towards the sun. For now, until then, constriction keeps it safe. What seemed like a burden of chance - growing wrapped in on itself, through resistance and weight, seemingly stunted - turns out to be a fair strategy for survival.
Now I ask myself to contemplate how this lesson plays out in my parenting, in my business, and in how I live my life.