New Bloom

New Bloom

In January of 2021, we kicked off our Bloom in Columbia, Missouri with a virtual call over Google Meet.  I’m supposed to make this blog post about my Bloom kickoff, because it was a big deal ten years and also because I’ve been working all these years towards Bloom being a reality.  I know how important it is to do these writeups about the events but the truth is, being someone who can make these kinds of events a reality means it’s hard to find the time.

Historical Bloom

Ten years ago, we tried to have an Evolver spore in my town – a meetup group where we screened films, discussed topics and in general tried to evolve consciousness in our town.  I hadn’t taken into consideration where I was at in my life when I tried to pull it off.  I was the president of my neighborhood association, a full-time case manager at the Division of Workforce Development in the MO State Career Center, and a new mom growing a brick in my chest from stress, smoking and coffee.  In other words, I was nuts.

We pulled off events for about a year before I realized I couldn’t do it, I could not be an events organizer.  We put the project on hold and I worked as a volunteer for Bloom International on and off over the decade, trying to build something that would make the world a better place.  Fast-forward to this moment in time and I’m not a new mom anymore, I’m not the president of anything anymore, I’m not a smoker anymore, and with COVID raging we have a captive audience.  Time to try again.

Virtual Kickoff

We were careful about who we invited to the kickoff, only folks we believed could embody non-violent communication.  8 people showed up besides myself, and it felt like a transcendent moment.  There was a theme of people who had created events in the city over the years to fill a void they had in their own lives, a sort of “Do unto others” creed we shared.  It was nice to find each other in the same place.  I feel like it’s a team that can stay together – but the important part is that we came, we heard, we saw each other.  We know who’s in it to win it for the clean green machine our city will be.

Events have started materializing without much effort, so I am pleased.  Coming up is a Hike of Bards where we all dress the fool and walk down to the river to sing at sunset, each of us carrying an instrument or a candle.  We will sing to the river in hopes that our winds reach some corner of the Universe and conjure favor from the powers that be.  We’re also going to have a virtual poetry slam, with a focus on Earth-based work and a professing of love for our beautiful planet.  There’s a spring event with art and music at a local winery with a late fire at a venue that one of our organizers has access to.  We all agreed we all needed COVID-safe, family-friendly activities that didn’t revolve around getting hammered, and loved the idea of remaking the social scene in our town towards more socially-conscious ends.  

In Summation

By the end of the year, I plan to move away from this city where I spent a quarter century.  I can’t say what I think it’s given to me.  Aren’t we all supposed to plant a tree in whose shade we’ll never stand?  I’m not sure why it matters or that it does.  Certainly there is something beautiful about this place, something special about the people here.  

I’m praying to the river at the Hike of Bards that after I’m gone, the team we put together will keep the city blooming, always.

by Meg Rivers

Join 1 of 3 Bloom Projects on Hylo

Join 1 of 3 Bloom Projects on Hylo

Want to apply your beautiful brain to creating regenerative cultures? Bloom is hosting three main collaborations, with a coordination base in Hylo. Jump in by becoming a member of Bloom for a small monthly fee, which goes towards these regenerative projects.

Please choose to focus on one topic. Your assistance is imperative.

2) Open Mesh Platforms – Next Generation Internet

New technologies are coming together to build a web not constrained by industry and owned in the commons. Put your heads together and enable this reality for Bloom and others. Read more detail here.

2) Rebranding Climate Change towards Consensus

A quiet and disruptive discussion on how to change tired political narratives of climate change (the climate’s always changing!) and global warming (how’s this freeze eh?). Help craft a new mainstream narrative with irrefutable language and photographic evidence that changes the course of human history towards a healthy biosphere and accelerated evolution.

Picture from ”The Story of Plastic”

3) Beautify the Commons with your Bloom

Is there a forgotten, forlorn, or underutilized space in your town, school, area, neighborhood, barn, home, or lighthouse? Start your Bloom by pulling together a team to radically beautify a neglected space.

Bloom Network CoMO (Columbia, Missouri) is proposing to a diverse city middle school to beautify two sad grey courtyards. Littered with trash, a home for bees, and a smattering of natural plants stewarded by a science teacher, it leaves everything to the imagination. We want to glorify and preserve the bees while making it a space that safely inspires. We also plan to connect a local musician’s program with a stage for the children to hear on their morning walk throughs in the courtyards. The children are not generally allowed to linger due to fights – but we can teach children how simple it is to be responsible for changing the view.

Proposal includes a dreaming exercise with staff and students that says:

The walled garden is bereft of sun
but we can bring the sun into places.
There are 4 walls in your courtyards,
and a sidewalk.
What colors, shapes, sculpture, flowers
plants, trees, scenes, things that hang, or paintings,
would you love to see out the window
and remember when you pass by?

We repeat… Your assistance is imperative! These are the paths towards the world we want to live in and it’s going to require all of our heads to find the way. So join these conversations by becoming a member of Bloom and help craft the future.