It’s a beautiful world we live in. The sound I’m hearing is so big. The waves crashing and the river is so full. The rocks are rolling from the river into the ocean only to be thrown by waves.
No other sounds break through here, this storm of nature. Then, a raven speaks, and the rain begins.
I’m standing on a rock, as I write these first words of this years Blog series. It got dark quick; I’m standing in the pitch black on Bear Beach (a beach just westward of Sooke on Vancouver Island’s south coast). Looking up, I can see the stars in the breaks of heavy clouds. I haven’t seen them for weeks. I can see the smoke, slowly streaming out from the trees near to where I’m camped, dwindling. The fire is about to burn out.
The fire is out now. I know because I threw the burning logs in the ocean and covered the red coals with sand. Lying here, wrapped up in my bag with an extra layer for my feet, my socks become almost too much. Despite the softer ground, layered with the detritus of decades and a resilient mattress, I reassure myself of the comfort.
Hours from anyone, dripping sounds in the bushes outside the tent cause me to wonder what’s out there, who’s watching me.
Curious for one last look at the night sky, the only clearing is out from the trees. Out onto the beach I step carefully, headlamp on yet having to guess some of the steps. Into the open, looking up I know I’m not alone; Orion is there along with the Little Dipper. In the distance across the strait, I can see lights below the Olympics; it’s the USA.
Tired from a night on ground that my body wasn’t used, somehow my body arrived in time to be audience for a resurrection of colours in the eastern sky, a sunrise of vivid azure, violent crimson and tiger orange for the sun along a slit of truth on the horizon line.
The sunrise can be trusted because, like all things of nature unmanipulated, it ‘is’ and it ‘happens’. When original, true, ‘it is good’ nature is made obscure and deviated, it becomes other than trustworthy. In nature, nothing is kept secret, as if an aspect of creation unaltered from its original form could be hidden intentionally.
Everywhere I go, I look for life and beauty and truth, a place where truest nature is not awkwardly accepted, a place where ‘being’ and ‘growth’ can happen naturally. Over the last few weeks, a destination place for hope, a resource in which I have searched for life application, has been Lahey and Kegan’s ‘An Everyone Culture’, a book containing fantastic information on various ideas centring on becoming and being a Deliberately Developmental Organization (DDO). These kinds of organisations (three in particular are mentioned in their work/research), ‘create a special kind of human community, one that arises from the gifts of vulnerability and the growth that can flower in it’ . Trust denotes vulnerability, which is not an easy offering and, over time, less so depending on the life experience of the individual. Skills can be offered much easier.
Lahey and Kegan have determined that ‘DDOs evidence several discontinuous departures from typical organisations in the way they nurture strong forms of community and the way these communities serve as vehicles for enacting and negotiating the developmental edge and groove of the organisation’ . The DDO organisation, along with skills, calls for commitment, trust and faithfulness from their people in the process of growth and wholesome development for each person and their community as a whole. This attitude/approach is refreshingly different, which makes me curious.
Nature can enliven the imagination. Sometimes, people seek to capitalize on nature, they seek to take from it with other things in mind, like houses and cars and dollar signs. Sometimes, people see that which is alive and seek to protect it from those who see it otherwise. DDOs consider the organization of people not as a thing to control and impose ‘will’ upon but, they see a community or home of people together as a beautiful living thing to uphold and to be good stewards of. Lahey and Kegan describe DDOs as a ‘work at creating the conditions to drive human flourishing and business flourishing as a part of one interdependent and mutually reinforcing set of goals’ . The goals center on the depth of integrity the DDO community seeks to engender; they are referred to as their edge (growth-focused principles) and their groove (a complimentary set of practices) intended to guide and align both the individual and group toward a shared, celebrated growth .
I had some porridge for breakfast the morning I woke up at Bear Beach. (I am reflecting back now, three coffees in at Tim Hortons and no longer writing from a rock with the river and ocean beside me, in front of me). Cranberries to toss in, I remembered however, I forgot a spoon. I had some coffee, to get going and I remembered the milk. However, I forgot the bodum so, it was a little gritty. It was a long night, for darkness, I was in the tent for about twelve hours. Thankfully, I remembered to bring a few books, including ‘An Everyone Culture’. However, I chose to focus my attention on a little book by Mirabai Star called, ‘Saint Francis, Brother of Creation’.
Virtues that Mirabai mentions in her work, from an excerpt of catholic.org, that I perceive could have a positive ‘next-steps’ effect on the Deliberately Developmental Organization and progressive, growth-mindset for the individual and community, include the following: Holy Wisdom, Pure and holy Simplicity, Holy Poverty, Holy Humility, Holy Love and Holy Surrender . Application is everywhere. Grandiose expectation and creating frameworks dependent on people can create unintended fragility. Application for ‘better ways’ is all over space and time and science. There’s application in the person of Jesus Christ and the determination of a model for faithfulness in ‘his bride’. I am optimistic.
I found a rock by the stream before I left Bear Beach, I recorded the sound of the stream to remind me. I took the rock but, hesitated because so much has been taken from nature. I found another rock by the ocean; I recorded the sound of the ocean to remind me. Only two rocks, both with hesitation; the rocks are in my pocket like a promise and, at least for now, I will not forget.
 Kegan, Robert, and Lisa Laskow Lahey, Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization (Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business Press Review, 2016), 119.
 Kegan and Lahey, An Everyone Culture, 108.
 Kegan and Lahey, An Everyone Culture, 119.
 Kegan and Lahey, An Everyone Culture, 119.
 Starr, Mirabai, Saint Francis of Assisi: Brother of Creation (Boulder, Colorado: Sounds True, 2013), 56-57.