"If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything"
Mark Twain

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Good evening to all. it has been a lovely day here on the west coast; the cherry trees have begun to blossom and that always heralds warmth and sunshine.

This week is Holy Week in the western Christian calendar, a time of contemplation and preparation for that most sacred human journey of death and life, of suffering and hope, as we move into the terror of Good Friday, the bleakness of Holy Saturday and the joy of Easter.

From a leadership perspective, this journey presents an important lesson, that from within death and endings, new life and possibilities emerge. And most importantly, both death and life are absolutely necessary. In short, parts of our organizations, and in some cases, our whole organizations, will have to die, in order for new life to emerge.

Philosopher Sallie McFague writes of this, talking about walking through the forests of coastal British Columbia;

"I've learned a thing or two in these forests about life and death, about the way they intertwine and depend on each other. I've learned this by paying close attention to huge ancient red cedars and Douglas firs lying on the forest floor. These so called dead trees are, in fact, far from dead, for they will live several hundred more years as 'nurse' trees to countless forms of life, including sapling trees. The new life will use them as a base for their own early tenuous grasp at existence, for the nurse trees are warmer and have more nutrients than the earth. The fallen trees will eventually decompose into the forest floor to become yet another form of matter to support yet more life. It is not actually at all clear what is dead and what is alive in these forests, or more accurately, death and life are not absolute categories as they are for most of us most of the time." 

Our organizations are organic in this sense, and as such parts, if not the whole die. And the role of leader is one of caregiver both for the dying and the always emerging new life.

I hope your week gives you an opportunity to see and care for the saplings of new life even in the endings you may encounter.