I love to read and while my reading is balanced between non-fiction and fiction, regardless of the genre, I find I always come away with new knowledge, ideas, and perspectives. Fiction allows me to escape into other characters’ lives, times, and experiences. Non-fiction is one way that I continue to learn and unlearn, and to challenge myself to seek a variety of perspectives.
While I read a lot of books, I usually give most of them away. At home, I have just one small book case where I keep my favourite books – the ones that spoke to me and left their mark.
This weekend I returned to a book entitled Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow by Elizabeth Lesser. There is no doubt that so many things feel different and, indeed, we are also being challenged to acknowledge many things that have been present but not evident to some.
I smiled as I read the opening quotation of the prelude of Broken Open by novelist and philosopher Anaïs Nin which said, “And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to bloom.”
The metaphor of staying ‘tight in a bud’ is, to me, a vivid one. While one may be growing and ready to blossom, the fear of taking a risk, of showing one’s true self, of throwing caution to the wind or of sharing one’s opinion seems so risky to so many.
Author Elizabeth Lesser writes in a later chapter, “How strange that the nature of life is change, yet the nature of human beings is to resist change. And how ironic that the difficult times we fear might ruin us are the very ones that can break us open and help us blossom into who we were meant to be.”
There is no question that we are, indeed, in ‘difficult times.’ I believe, however, that as our School ensures it is providing an environment and place where each member can take risks, throw caution to the wind, and share one’s perspectives, not only will each individual blossom, so, too will our entire community.
While it feels like time to stay tight in a bud, let’s all take the risk to bloom.