a couple last pics from new zealand. these, from our walk through the woods at the top of the mountain above queenstown. we saw these little mushrooms that had pushed up through the layer of dirt and pine needles. they were about as enchanting as mushrooms can be. we pictured tiny forest fairies living in or under them. these pics aren’t great, but the fragile little mushrooms seemed a great metaphor for many things.
and, they made me think of emergent village.
yeah, maybe a stretch. but as i type this, i’m in philadelphia for a board meeting of emergent, as well as the emergent philosophical discussion with jack caputo (i’m sure i’ll post more about that). but as i looked at these fragile-yet-willful little mushrooms earlier this week, i couldn’t help but think of emergent. even that description — fragile-yet-willful — seems to characterize the state of emergent. so much happening now. and i’ve been so deeply pleased to see emergent hold to its commitments and statements that it would be and will be a dialogue and a relationship, not a denomination or unified voice or political lobby. that commitment has cost them (us). that commitment has kept them fragile. there would likely be more strength in the traditional way of defining that (strength = ability to influence) if emergent compromised from this commitment. but the good stuff wouldn’t be happening: we’d be in a cul-de-sac.
i’ll say this about these little mushrooms: in their tiny-ness (especially in contrast to the rest of the forest) and humility, they were the most alive thing in the forest. they found their life and nutrients in the decay of dying pine needles and forest-floor compost. and they pushed up through it. ugly and beautiful at the same time. completely vulnerable. impractical. other.
yup. that’s emergent.
(related post, which i thought of in this forest also, from our family trip exactly one year ago to glacier national park, and the emergent growth we saw on a hike in the woods.)