In recent weeks, a sound alchemist, a Buddhist priest, a health care ethicist, a heptathlete, and a graphic recorder — to name a few — have all come into my universe, each enriching and expanding it in ways I would never have imagined. I can’t honestly say these were intentional additions, as I didn’t really appreciate what a profound expansion I’d undertaken, but I’ll own what I started.
Life can get awfully cozy. You have good friends, favorite haunts, classic menus. These things are lovely, often hard-won, and comfortable; reassuringly predictable.
Sometimes that’s exactly what’s in order.
And sometimes: not.
Recent months have been a master class in the “necessity of strangers” – the value-added intersections with people who are friends of friends of friends, spouses of colleagues’ siblings children, the “loose ties” that both bind and extend us as a society.
Statistically, these are the folks from whom you’ll get the next job and find the new lover. But more importantly, they are sources of surprising insights, wisdom and fresh perspective.
They are the veins to follow to inner mines rich with as-yet-unexcavated treasure.
I think of it as my inner bee. And I’m cross-pollinating like my life depends on it. Because it does. I’m pretty sure Nature itself depends on me buzzing about, visiting with these lovely buds, taking and sharing what I can. Going back to the hive – and then back out again, and again, and again.
We need to be thinking of one another as lovely flowers to be visited. As sources of life-critical treasure to be collected and exchanged.
Life Lesson #27: I’ll rephrase Muhammad Ali: Float like a butterfly, flit like a bee!