What do you call this?

I wonder, what would you call this flower?

  • Cuckooflower
  • Milkmaids
  • Lady’s smock
  • Cuckoo bittercress
  • Whitsuntide gilliflower
  • Mayflower
  • Cardamine pratensis

Or do you have another name?

And as you read these words, where do they take you?

For me, the familiar name is Milkmaids, and it takes me back to field margins on my home farm in Kent.

When daisies pied and violets blue
And lady-smocks all silver-white,
And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue,
Do paint the meadow with delight.

William Shakespear

What do you call this?

Hear the tone of curiosity? The thirst for exploring.

When was the last time your curiosity was piqued?

Where did it lead you, and what did you do as a result?

Words and images are great triggers, and each of us has different buttons that spark our curiosity.

And curiosity can be cultivated. After all, virtually everyone was more curious as a young child than they are now.

So where did it go, and how can you give yourself permission to explore and ask more questions?

What do you call this?

Ah, that’s the voice of the teacher or disapproving parent.

Just the intonation told us we are in trouble.

There was a right answer or correct way of doing things (in my case, not messy). And this was not it. No.

Does this take you back to a place of vivid memories, which may or may not be so distant?

How can you tone down the voice?

Because in reality, there is no right answer.

And creativity and innovation dwell in the unsettled, disordered places when new connections are made, and play reveals possibilities.

What do you call this?

It’s an essential personal question because nobody else can do your sense-making and meaning-making for you.

You have to listen to yourself and see what you see, with the ears and eyes of self-compassion.

Because there isn’t a right answer, only potentials and probabilities, dreams and fears.

Yet, the others are there to help us listen to the words we use and walk with us as we explore their meanings.

Sometimes we have to search them out. And sometimes, we have to simply step out and trust again that others can hold with care the names we give to our vulnerable parts.

Because it does matter what we call this, and we need to hear our heart song.

“My words don’t just describe reality, they create reality.”

Greg McKeown

Thanks for sharing these words


This week

Exploration heading towards Earth Day and beyond.