A Lesson on Time from Mother Nature

A Lesson on Time from Mother Nature

This week’s inspiration comes from an unusual source. Despite the date and season – the autumn of 2018 – my “tulip tree” is blooming!

Bless her heart.

She’s so confused. With all the rain followed by unseasonal warmth, perhaps she thinks it’s spring again!

Surprisingly, it’s neither her style nor sequence of blooming. Typically, her blooms sprout in early spring from bare limbs. No leaves, just magnificent magnolia-like flowers.

Only after her blossoms peak and die does the foliage appear.

But not in this special season. Her full foliage now sports sparse but hardy blooms. In the 11 years I’ve lived here, I’ve never seen this combination.

Her timing reminded me of a conversation I often had with my father, especially when my carefully organized plans started falling apart. A lover of words and a student of the Greek etymology and exegesis in his work, he made the point that ancient Greeks had two words for time: chronos and kairos. Chronos refers to specific, sequential, or chronological time. Kairos means a season or an opportune time, as in the saying, “the time is ripe.”

“Relax your plans, BB,” I can hear him telling me. “Trust the process.” Interesting advice from the man who taught me, “What’s planned is possible.”

Yet, through the years, I’ve learned the value of both approaches. Maybe it was that milestone birthday I had this year. But I do think I plan less and trust more.

For sure, chronos can fail us. Our best schedules and plans become delayed, derailed, or even destroyed. Yet, if we keep moving through life, absorbing the conditions, growing through the process, perhaps an unexpected kairos can occur.

So, bloom little tulip tree, bloom. Take what life throws at you and find a way to flourish in your own time.

You inspire us!

How about you? Have you ever experienced kairos when chronos failed? Tell me about it. I’d love to know.

My best – always,

Becky  (Nana B)

P.S. Thank you Friends of Perry Hall library for your warm welcome on Saturday and the great discussion (and for the honorarium directed to Pathfinders For Autism). Still can’t believe my book is in the library! #pinchme

P.P.S. What a fun day at Run Wild for Autism on Sunday!

P.P.P.S. Loved sharing my book with the Hereford Library on Wednesday! What a great crowd with wonderful questions. #ILoveLibraries

Up next: Bons Secours “Rethinking Possible” retreat this weekend, then off to North Carolina: Sunday, October 21 3 p.m. Bull’s Head Bookshop UNC Chapel Hill Student bookstore. More details and info below.


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