This is something we used to talk about a lot, back when I was working. We did a lot of work focused on 'transforming' organizations, or departments, or teams or individuals, mainly so the corporation could sell more widgets and make more money.
Now that I've been forcibly removed from the corporate universe, now that I spend the majority of my time in and around our home, I had a thought about transformation - real transformation.
I know I've rhapsodized about spring in Portland a few times (maybe even a few too many times?) in earlier posts. I'm not here to retract one word of what I've written (spring in Portland is absolutely the best) but watching the changes - or, if you will, the transformation - taking place daily in our back yard, has caused me to think about that process in a very different way.
A few minutes ago, I cut the first tulip (a lovely, yellow blossom), brought it into the house and put it in a vase. It occurred to me that the tulip buds hadn't even appeared at the beginning of last week, and now - presto! - we have buds and tulips appearing all over our yard. Trees (there are several huge trees in yards that abut ours) that were just barely showing green if you looked carefully a week or so ago are now so covered with green blossoms that we can no longer see through to the road below (which means, thankfully, that we can no longer see the billboard either!). Within a week or so, we won't be able to see the houses to our south, and we'll again feel as if we're living in semi-isolation, rather than in a thickly-settled neighborhood in Southwest Portland. The split-leaf Japanese maple that traveled with us from Berkeley, and now sits on our front porch where I can see it from the kitchen window, is suddenly covered with open leaves. Two weeks ago, I had to strain to see the first buds appearing on its branches.
In my current incarnation as a stay-at-home, non-working person, I see all of this amazing change in our landscape as different kind of transformation, one that doesn't have to be taught or mandated or demanded. This beautiful, quiet, delicate, elegant and silent transformation happens because - well, because it's part of an organic and natural cycle.
I very much prefer this natural transformation to the kind we tried to facilitate back when I was working. With 20/20 hindsight, I finally realized that the best we were able to do was effect temporary changes. Calling what we did 'transformation' was the ultimate in arrogance.
It's the trees that really understand transformation.