Two weeks ago, my blog referenced a word for people who are not doing well during this time, languishing (see Two Fries). Not too long afterward, another word has surfaced as a sort of rebuttal to the idea that people are aimless and joyless: dormant.

The author, Austin Kleon, in his article on April 26th writes:

I disliked the term “languishing” the minute I heard it.
I’m not languishing, I’m dormant.
Like a plant. Or a volcano.
I am waiting to be activated.

Kleon writes about how being married to a gardener gives him rich metaphors for understanding time which goes by another clock- Mother Nature. As he says, "Gardeners not only develop a different sense of time, they develop the ancient wisdom of knowing when to do things:

To every thing there is a season,

and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die;

a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up…

...if you try to wake a plant out of dormancy too soon, it will wither, and maybe die."

Like the butterfly whose final stage can't be rushed before it takes wing.

Like a broken bone that needs time to heal.

Like the dormant bear whose den is not merely for waiting but for nurturing her cubs.

Corita Kent described her own dormant stretches saying that “new things are happening very quietly inside of me.”

As Alice and I continue to tend our garden this Spring, already jasmine and gardenia have scented the air, Easter Lilies trumpeted their flowers, orchids are boasting their buds and lilies of the Nile are popping up like papyrus.

Nature continues to bust open (spring forth!) and all in Her own time.

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