turning 14…

Hi everyone,  Sorry for the long lapse in writing.  I’ve had my hands full with the day-to-day tasks of running a business and tending to patients, which has left me with little time to reflect and write!  

A few weeks ago we celebrated our 14th birthday at hemma – a quiet celebration and a stark contrast to previous years. 

I’ve often thought of a business as being sort of like a child – there are the infant years, the toddler stage, the years where you are the centre of their universe, and finally the teen years.  If you have raised children you’ll know that around the age of 14 there is a powerful and sometimes painful transition phase.  In one moment you cease to exist in their eyes and in the next they revert back to an earlier age when they needed your attention and care constantly.  This unpredictable swing can happen at any time, like riding a trapeze, the young teen swings far away only to return hoping you’ll catch them.  This pattern can often last for at least a year or two before settling into something resembling autonomy and individualism, if all goes well. 

Hemma has been like that lately, in the early months of 14 she was in her stride, barely noticing me, content to be receiving the care and attention from so many others beside me.  I was settling into this new parenting role quite nicely, in fact the year before we had even managed to take a whole month away from one another after more than 10 years of sleepless nights and constant care.  Then came the swing…

With the arrival of COVID the young teen came crashing back into my arms reminding me of the infant years where you’re sometimes up all night.  That’s where I find myself these days, a single parent tending to physical and emotional needs each day, in a way that only a parent can.  Like a single parent I have had scarce time to reach out to you, write you letters, have you over for dinner, or throw a party! Yes, for the past few months we have been in crisis mode.  

When you’re a parent you never stop loving your child — no matter what they may do or say — you’re always able to see their beautiful soul.  Similarly with hemma the spirit of her remains present in the fir floors, the cheerful orange walls, and in the handful of volunteers, acupuncturists and staff that are around these days tending.  That said, the changes that occur over time can sometimes cause one to sprout grey hairs!

Given hemma’s current needs, along with the current state of the world, we have decided to pare down to the basics, hoping to weather this storm and to reemerge as something bigger and brighter once this storm has passed.  One thing I know for sure though, for all of us, is that we need to focus on creating something new in our world and in our lives — to leverage this forced change in a way that creates something better and more sustainable for our personal lives and for our world.  Happy Birthday Hemma! 

Michael